Tips for Your Home

Join the campaign to help Bedford meet its goal of reducing CO2 emissions 20% by the year 2020 (20by2020).  It will save you money, help conserve energy and make the air you and your family breathes cleaner and healthier.  Some steps are quick and easy, others require thought but they all have benefits. 

Video of an Energy Audit of a Vintage Katonah Home, click here to view video.  

Tips from the April, 2008 Summit on Energy Efficient Renovation and Construction:
Architect, Craig Hunt's Energy Efficiency in Residential Building and Remediation

Robb Aldrich, P.E., Residential Energy Efficiency

Change 5 bulbs in your home to CFL / Energy Star bulbs. 
If every family in Bedford changed 5 bulbs in their home to CFLs, it would equal the effect of taking 650 cars annually off the road.   

Recycle your old CFLs through Westchester County.  Information at:

Choose Energy Star rated appliances when replacing old appliances

Feed your family at least one meal-- breakfast, lunch or dinner--per week, of locally produced food.
Information on and resources for eating locally is available on Bedford’s Rainbeau Ridge website. .

Bike and walk more and support efforts to establish a more walkable / bikable Bedford.
The health benefits are obvious and the general consensus among Mayors and Town Supervisors throughout the USA is that walkable communities are the most energy efficient communities.

Turn down the thermostat in your home 2 degrees in winter and raise it 2 degrees in summer. 
In winter, set thermostats to 68?° when you're home, and lower to 60?° at night and when you're out. Every 1°F reduction in an 8-hour period means a 1% reduction in CO2 emissions.  Use a programmable thermostat. Installing a ceiling fan can save as much as $600 a year in avoided AC electrical costs.

Turn off all computers at night and unplug cell phone and other chargers when not in use
Shutting down a computer can save you between $70 and $100 per year per computer in electric costs.  Screen saver programs won’t do that. Chargers can consume as much as 10% of a home’s electricity.  As soon as charging is complete, unplug the charger.

Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment.
Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this stand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory calculates that these energy “leaks” account for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption, cost more than $3 billion annually, and spew 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere .Using a power strip for your computer, TV and video, Audio and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.

Don’t allow car to idle for more than 10 seconds before turning it off.
Turning your car off than on again uses less fuel than allowing it to idle for 10 seconds.  It also will help in the fight against related health issues like asthma.  For more gas saving tip:
Click here to view this QuickTime video
Click Here to download QuickTime it's FREE.

Drive less, drive slower, and avoid jack rabbit starts and stops.
Driving your car 65 mph instead of 75 mph will cut your fuel consumption by 15% and save the equivalent of around 40 cents per gallon.  Driving less aggressively can increase your fuel consumption by as much as 33%.

Refuse, re-use and recycle.
Don’t buy overly packaged goods, refuse unnecessary bags, recycle plastic, aluminum and paper products and when you shop, use only re-usable bags never plastic. 

Support and shop at local businesses that are Partners of the Bedford twenty by 2020 business alliance.
Watch www.bedfordny/info for information on member businesses or having your business certified.

Obtain an Energy Audit

Build and renovate to LEEDs certified standards when renovating or building your home.

  • Install an Energy Star Furnace or Air conditioning System when replacing your old system. An Energy Star furnace or air conditioning system, when properly sized and installed, can save   30-40 percent on heating and cooling bills.
  • Use a clothesline or indoor laundry rack instead of a dryer.
  • Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot.

Savings can add up to 300$ per year.

Measure your carbon footprint.
There are many easy to use carbon calculators available online to measure your carbon emissions and footprint.  One is available at

Replace the energy your home uses with power supplied by clean, renewable sources.
You can tell your energy provider to replace the energy your home uses with energy from solar or wind farms in New York State.  Go to for information or contact your supplier.

Make school lunches in reusable containers.
Sierra Club reports that making lunches for school every day creates an average of 67 pounds of garbage per child--or more than 18,000 pounds per school--each year.  Eschewing disposable packaging and single-serving items can save families $250 a year. For more information go to

Rethink bottled water
Learn how San Francisco banned government procurement of bottled water; Salt Lake City is working with businesses to voluntarily kick the bottle; and New York City is promoting public awareness of tap water safety.

Reduce the number of catalogs you get
Americans are sent more than 19 billion catalogs (produced from more than 53 million trees) each year.  Cut down on resource-intensive forms of shopping.  Catalog Choice is a website started by several environmental groups partnered with retailers and allows you to remove yourself from over 1000 mailing lists.

Reduce your junk mail
The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year.  Sign up for this service and they say they’ll eliminate 80-95% of unsolicited mail.  It will  save time and trees.

Walk more
Children walking to School helps fight obesity related illnesses through everyday exercise, and connects them to the natural world.