To reduce hot-water consumption (and energy needs), federal legislation mandated improved showerhead efficiency for models made after 1994. Replace older models with ones that spray no more than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Potential annual savings: $145, plus 370 pounds of emissions
Single- and even some double-pane clear-glass windows can force heating and cooling systems to work overtime. Energy Star-qualified windows with insulating glazes, gas fills, and better framing materials deliver the best results.
Potential annual savings: $95 and 2,200 pounds of emissions
Lower the thermostat by just two degrees this winter to conserve energy without sacrificing comfort. Turn it down 10 degrees at night and when you're not home -- or install a programmable thermostat for automatic adjustments.
Potential annual savings: $100 and 500 pounds of emissions
Compact fluorescent lightbulbs consume a quarter of the electricity required by comparable incandescent bulbs and last up to 12 times longer. Maximize savings by changing at least five frequently used bulbs.
Potential annual savings: $60 and 770 pounds of emissions
Many household appliances continue to suck electricity even when switched off; nationally, this creates the annual emissions equivalent of 17 power plants. Minimize leaks by unplugging idle electronics.
Potential annual savings: $200 and 480 pounds of emissions