|The old hotwater tank|
sprung a leak, forcing
us to upgrade and save energy
"Get a home energy audit from your local utility company. Find out how you can save resources and money by making small, inexpensive improvements to your home. Find out more from NSTAR and Energy Star"
This one happens to be easier for us than for most people, since we just bought a house in 2010. In the process, we looked at all the energy it used and pondered ways to reduce.
As luck would have it, the wash machine promptly died, forcing us to replace it. Luckily, we had a little extra cash and got ourselves a new, state-of-the-art Energy-Star rated machine. This gave us a nice tax credit to offset some of the price, and the water use is much less than with the older machine. Most of the water savings comes from it having a drum that rotates around a horizontal axis, rather than the traditional vertical access. Only the bottom of the drum gets filled with water, and the spinning tosses the clothes in and out of the water. It works great!
Also, the new machine has cheery electronic tones to signal its starting and stopping. This is much more pleasant than the old buzzer. Improving the sonic environment can be a neglected consideration, but it is important!
A few months later, luck struck again as the hot water tank died. Again, we got a nice, Energy-Statr rated replacement. Our electricity bills have ben noticably lower!