Solutions: Appliances

Summary——————–Overview——————–Solutions

INDIVIDUALS
  • 5★Advocate for appliance related large-scale solutions.
  • 3★Avoid purchasing high-impact appliances. At least try using them less. Non-essential appliances like dryers are usually easy to live without. Appliances that use extremely greenhousy refrigerants should also be avoided and dealt with separately during disposal.
  • 3★Switch to low-emission appliances. The first step here is looking at your electricity grid’s emission factor and comparing that to natural gas, while keeping in mind that the electricity mix can change [often get greener] over time. This will help you determine whether your appliances should consume electricity or not. The second step is purchasing energy-efficient equipment [e.g. LEDs]. Remember that purchasing new appliances too often can worsen your impacts.
  • 2★Run electricity consuming appliances during ‘clean grid peaks’. Look up at what time of day your electricity grid is the cleanest. That’s the time when electricity consuming appliances will emit as little CO2e as possible. Avoid using electricity when the grid is at its dirtiest.
  • 2★Make an inventory of your appliances. Update this list often to see how it changes over time.
  • 2★Share appliances. Power tools, laundry machines, and gardening tools are a few of the many items that neighborhoods could share to avoid depleting resources.
  • 2★Lower your water heater impacts. Using less hot water is a good start. Lowering the water heater temperature and improving insulation is even better. Before playing around with your water heater settings, remember to check what your region and manufacturer suggest as a safe temperature limit.
  • 1★Avoid energy losses from high standby power products. Look for certifications on products before purchasing them [e.g. the ENERGY STAR sticker]. Unplug or get rid of products you already own but never use. For high standby power products you often use, consider purchasing power bars or putting the devices in sleep mode.
  • 1★Purchase renewable electricity or green certificates. If you don’t have the option of purchasing renewable electricity from your provider, you can always purchase green certificates. When done right, these certificates essentially fund renewable electricity production elsewhere.
LARGER SCALES
  • Governments: Implement a carbon tax on natural gas and electricity. Increasing the tax over time will encourage individuals and organizations to switch to cleaner sources of energy and reduce their overall demand. Of course, there needs to be compensations for lower income individuals so that they aren’t penalized harshly – since they typically have limited alternatives.
  • Governments: Improve policies surrounding energy subsidies. Removing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry is essential, as is increasing subsidies to the renewable energy industry.
  • Governments: Strengthen production and disposal regulations for refrigerants. Containing refrigerant emissions during appliance disposal can significantly mitigate future global warming. Stronger manufacturing regulations can ensure that high-GHG refrigerants aren’t used in the first place.
  • Governments: Ban natural gas in new buildings. With today’s technology, buildings don’t need to connect to the natural gas grid. In regions of clean electricity, this ban can help avoid loads of emissions.