Check out this video for a wide range of energy efficiency tips from Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Okay, so a 16 minute video about energy efficiency may not be for everyone (heavy sigh), but that's not going to stop me from posting this one. For it's not every day that you have head of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu, sitting down to answer questions about home energy efficiency—yes, that lowest hanging energy fruit! that core climate solution!—that were submitted by regular citizens like us through email, Twitter, and Facebook.
Through his chat (and you can read some bonus answers by other DOE staff on their EnergyBlog here if you don't have 16 minutes), it's clear that Secretary Chu is not only a brilliantly
dorky technical efficiency expert, but he also walks the walk. He's apparently known around the DOE corridors as an efficiency "buff."
"Every home that I've owned beginning in my early thirties, the first thing I would do is go to the hardware store and buy some insulation. I’m very proud to say that in all these homes except one, which was very well built, we have reduced the energy bill by at least a factor of two.\n
How? Finding and blocking drafts and insulating. "It’s like blocking and tackling," Chu says. "The most important thing."
He goes on to answer common curiosities and important energy conundrums like whether it's better to wash by hand or in a dishwasher. ("No comparison. Use a dishwasher, and it doesn’t even need to be a high-efficiency model. It saves water, it saves energy, and you don’t get dishpan hands.”) Or where to find the best "discounts" for household solar and efficiency products. (The DOE site, of course)
The DOE's blog post about the chat has more links and resources here.