Energy Conservation

Conservation has become an important community-wide issue in Eagle, as almost anywhere else in the world. If we think of sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, then conservation is a given.

Reducing energy use at home
  • Using less energy always starts with only using energy when you need it. This means turning off lights that are in rooms not being used, and pulling the plug on electrical equipment that is not being used. Even in the "off" position many appliances draw power adding 5 to 15% to your electric bill.
    • A power strip with an "off" switch will prevent any electricity from reaching your devices.
    • Activate "sleep" features on computers and office equipment that power down when not in use for a while.
  • Replace all incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Replacing 4 75-watt incandescent bulbs with 23-watt fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) that use about 2-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer saves $190 over the life of the bulbs.
  • When cooking, keep the lids on pots. A microwave oven uses less energy to cook a meal than a conventional oven or stovetop.
  • Install programmable thermostats. Their payback is also short, and you won't be cooling or heating your house when you don't need to. Holy Cross Energy offers rebates for these and other investments in more energy efficient appliances.
  • Clean the coils on your refrigerator to improve its efficiency
  • Make sure your equipment is tuned up and properly maintained. Replace air filters on heating and air-conditioning equipment regularly.
  • Use ceiling fans in the summer and the winter to circulate cold and hot air, respectively.
  • Look for the Energy Star label when shopping for new home appliances. These are usually 30% more efficient than the standard models. The Energy Star website has a wealth of information.
  • Make sure your house is well insulated, weather stripped, and caulked, helping to reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.
  • Replace continuously burning pilot lights with electronic ignitions to save gas in fireplaces, ovens, ranges, and outdoor lighting systems.
  • On the windows that face South, open the shades during the day in the winter to maximize passive solar gain and close them in the summer and at night in the winter.
  • Dry your clothes on a line instead of a drying machine. As of 2008 a new law in Colorado prohibits homeowners' associations from restricting line drying.
  • Use cold water to do your laundry, reducing the workload for your water heater.
  • Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees and turn it to a vacation setting, when you leave for a while.
  • Install efficient windows that will keep your home well lighted, cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.
  • Glass fireplace doors help stop heat from being lost up the chimney. Also, close the fireplace damper when not in use.
  • Install a swamp cooler and use it instead of the A/C which completely dries out the already arid Colorado air in your house.
Additional resources, including a free booklet on saving money and energy, are available from the Alliance to Save Energy.

The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is a great resource.

Increasing your car's MPG
It's important to remember that by making your car go further with each gallon not only saves money but also reduces the amount of CO2 that your car emits, thereby reducing its impact on global warming.
  • Avoid driving aggressively with rapid acceleration and frequent braking.
  • Keep your engine tuned up. Incorrect fuel ratio, bad spark plugs and incorrect spark timing can have a big effect on gas mileage. Change the air filter regularly.
  • Use A/C on the highway and roll down your windows when driving slowly. The A/C compressor puts extra strain on the engine at low speeds, while you windows decrease the aerodynamics of your car and actually reduce gas mileage compared to using the A/C, if you are driving fast.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under inflated tires cause more resistance to travel.
  • Avoid stop and go traffic by taking alternative routes or by driving during less congested hours of the day.
  • Avoid idling. Turn off your engine if stopped for more than a minute (idling is 20% of urban gas consumption).
  • Use good engine oil, preferably synthetic or standard oil treated with a friction reducing oil additive. These have been known to improve fuel economy by as much as 12%.
  • Reduce the weight in your vehicle as much as possible.
  • Use your cruise control on the highway.
  • Keeping your highway speed at 55 mph can improve you gas mileage by as much as 25%, compared to 75 mph. Staying in high gear and driving between 35 and 60 MPH is the most fuel efficient speed.
  • Avoid trying to increase speed while climbing a hill. Your engine is already working hard trying to overcome gravity. Accelerate before hills.
  • Remove accessories, such as luggage or ski racks that lower the aerodynamics of your vehicle.
  • More information is available from