Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Smart Switches

So you have been making great progress at greening your lifestyle every day. Looking around your home you take pride that you’ve switched out those dinosaur incandescent bulbs for energy-sipping LEDs and you have noticeably smaller electric bills – and a little more money in the bank now.

But, there’s always room for more improvement. Always new ways to squeeze a little CO2 off your carbon footprint. In the back of your mind, you know that either you or others around the house still have that nasty habit of leaving the lights on in empty, long vacated rooms.

There are plenty of cost justifiable solutions on the market these days. Automatic wall switches prices have dropped dramatically and there are all sorts of options to meet any type of need. There are timed auto-off switches with all sorts of combinations to meet any lifestyle. There are motion detector switches to sense if there’s no life in the room and will turn off if not. There are programmable auto-off switches. A more recently switches that interface with Echo Dot and Amazon Echo. Any auto-off options can avoid useless energy usage and needlessly emission of greenhouse gasses. Over years, these energy saving tweaks really can add up.

So why not get it set-up now and enjoy the benefits in the years to come?

The Financial Pay Back

Calculating the financial pay back of the upfront investment takes into account the upfront cost of the newly purchased switch offset against how many “light-on” hours were avoided. That’s just from a money perspective and does not include the avoided CO2 emissions. We developed this estimate with the help of Mr. Electricity.

  • Wattage of bulbs impacted by the switch 18 watts (a LED bulb)
  • Cost of Kilowatt Hour – U.S. average $0.22
  • Operating Hours Avoided Per Day by auto-off = 3 hours
  • Savings Per Year = $4.80
  • Years To Breakeven = 5 years

This is a conservative estimate, assuming just one LED – a state of the art efficient bulb and only a few hours of savings every day. The savings quickly gets really more rewarding if there are multiple bulbs involved and if those bulbs were antiquated and inefficient. Plus, if the wasteful “left-on” time climbs to 24 hours or even days at a time, the payback shortens.  

Consider either of these types of auto-off switches:

A Vacancy Sensor Auto Off Light Switch a wall switch with a night light that automatically turns off if there is no movement in the room for 30 minutes.

A Time-Based Auto Off Light Switch with an assortment of different fixed timed buttons (5 minutes, 10 minutes, increments up to an hour, or if you prefer hourly incremental 1,2,..8) for use in a closets, bathrooms, basements, garages, recreation rooms.(ranging from $25-$28). 

Give it a try in that high usage, frequently “forgot to turn off the lights” areas of your home or office and start realizing savings and carbon footprint reduction now, rather than later.   Green Blizzard gives this carbon reduction opportunity, two green footprints.


About the author

Keith Blizzard

A life-long environmentalist, Keith set out on the never ending journey of adjusting his lifestyle to a more sustainable one, with a goal of annually shrinking his carbon footprint. When he looked around for a dependable source of meaningful carbon footprint reduction ideas, it was pretty lame - so he launched Green Blizzard loaded with eco-friendly lifestyle tweaks. When he's not managing Green Blizzard, you'll find him on the trails around Mid Coast Maine with his trusty trail companion mutt, Moose.