eco_friendly_decorating_lights_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — Simple actions, such as changing light bulbs, adjusting water heater settings and replacing AC filters monthly can save consumers money and those savings will add up quickly. That’s the message of a new energy conservation campaign launched by Broward County this week for Earth Day as part of the Energy Sense program.

Using the theme, Real People. Real Tips. Real Savings, the multimedia campaign, which includes billboards and bus, newspaper, radio and online advertisements, features Broward County residents sharing their own tips to conserve energy — and save money — every day.

“This is the perfect time to remind Broward County residents that energy conservation is not only good for the environment, energy conservation also saves money,” said Doug Young, education and outreach specialist with the Broward County Energy and Sustainability Program. “That’s why we chose this theme for the campaign.”

Residents are directed to for more information and can download an Energy Sense savings card. Among the campaign’s recommend ways to be more energy efficient:

Change a light bulb – switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, or LEDs (light emitting diodes, which use 75 percent less energy than regular light bulbs, last up to 10 times longer and pay for themselves in the first four months.

Cool your home at 78˚F or warmer with the thermostat fan switched to auto. For additional savings, raise your thermostat to 82˚ F or warmer when you’re away. Savings can be $200-300 per year.

Adjust water settings. Turn the hot water heater down to 120˚ F. Wash clothes in cold water. Combined savings can be $30-475 per year.

Clean or replace the AC filter monthly and get an annual maintenance checkup. A properly functioning AC system can save between 10-30 percent on related energy costs.

Turn off the ceiling fan when leaving the room. A fan that runs all the time costs up to $7 per month.

Do a Home Energy Audit. Implementing recommendations from FPL’s Home Energy Audit can save you up to $570 per year. Visit for more energy savings.

Use power strips for home computers, monitors and TVs. When electronic devices are turned off but still plugged in, they continue to draw energy — “vampire (phantom) power.” Unplug devices or switch off power strips to save $100 per year.

Keep refrigerator running efficiently. Refrigerators use 1/6 of home energy. Cleaning your refrigerator coils and pulling the refrigerator away from the wall will reduce energy use.

Buy a fuel-efficient car. Compared to a 20-mpg car, a 30-mpg car will save the average driver about $1,000 per year in fuel costs.

Tint your windows. Solar control window film (tinting) reduces heat gain by 80 percent, which helps lower energy consumption. Average annual cooling cost savings can be $100-300.

Photo: Stock photo