Energy Saving Tips
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“Energy Saving Tips,” Ensign, Feb. 1974, 69

Energy Saving Tips

In a time of abundance, many countries of the world are finding themselves facing serious shortages. The most pressing shortage and the most immediate crisis seems to be that of energy.

Energy produces our food and manufactured goods. Energy moves us from place to place and heats our homes and cooks our food. It is energy that we are short of.

Many magazines, newspapers, and government officials have made suggestions and imposed restrictions in order to urge us to use our power supplies in the most efficient manner. Most suggestions for saving energy are not ones which will lower anyone’s standard of living. They are simply reminders for eliminating wasted energy, suggestions that will save everyone both energy and money. Most of the suggestions are applicable primarily in the United States, because with 7 percent of the world’s population, the United States uses 50 percent of the world’s energy.

Some of the suggestions printed below have special importance because of our membership in the Church; others are more general.


1. Where possible, walk to church. In many towns and cities in Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, a chapel is within walking distance for many members.

2. Where getting to church requires driving, members should consider car pooling. Men could easily come together for priesthood meeting, the sisters to Relief Society. An average Latter-day Saint family might fill a car for Sunday School or sacrament meeting, but, if not, members could car pool and pick up others on the way.

3. Make the most effective use of buses or other rapid transit methods. As energy problems increase, many cities will improve their bus services. Bus travel may cease to be an inconvenience and become a necessity.

4. Plan automobile trips carefully. Think and plan ahead about shopping for food, clothing, and entertainment.

5. Slow down. A car traveling 50 miles per hour uses 20 percent less gasoline than the same car traveling at 70 miles per hour.

6. Keep your car tuned for its most efficient use.

Heating and Cooling Your House

1. Find out all you can about your home heating system and follow the rules that will give you best results. For instance, in some cases, it takes more fuel to bring the temperature up in the morning to the desired level than it does to keep it at a lower constant level all of the time.

2. Don’t be afraid to wear a sweater inside the house—and turn the thermostat down.

3. Check your furnace filter to make certain that it is clean.

4. When not using the fireplace, close the damper.

5. Eliminate drafts from doors and windows that do not shut properly.

6. In the winter, keep the heat in; in the summer, keep the heat out. That means closing drapes at night in the winter to keep the heat in and opening them during the day to let the sun in. In the summer it means opening doors and windows during the cool part of the day and closing them during severe heat.

Using Appliances Wisely

1. Turn off the color television set when you are not watching something. Today a color television set uses as much power as an entire house did 25 years ago.

Surveys indicate that the television set runs five hours a day in the average American home. What would one or two hours less television daily do for you and your family in terms of family unity, and time for reading and enjoyable projects?

2. Take a long look at the appliances you are using and determine which are really necessary. Do you really need an electric toothbrush or an automatic trash compactor?

3. Use your automatic dishwasher wisely—only when it’s full.

4. Make certain that you are using your clothes dryer as efficiently as possible. All dryers use lots of power, so you might consider drying your clothes outside when weather permits.

5. When cooking on an electric range, turn off the heat a few minutes earlier than you usually do. The heat left in the burner and in the pan will finish your cooking job.

6. Keep your natural gas-burning stove clean. A clear blue flame means you are using your heat efficiently. If the flame is yellow, the stove gas ports are clogged and a repairman should be called.

7. Where possible, use cold water in your washing machine.

8. Heating an iron takes a lot more energy than keeping it hot. So when you heat an iron, do a complete batch of ironing.

Miscellaneous Savers

1. Home lighting is a good place to save energy. Turn out lights when you leave a room. Unless specifically needed, use bulbs with a lower wattage than you normally would. Don’t use a 150-watt bulb where a 100-watt bulb would work just as well. Many lighting units contain multiple bulbs. Could one or two bulbs do just as well?

2. Repair leaky faucets. A drop of hot water once each second uses 2,500 gallons of water per year.