Having household appliances makes our life easier. Back in the days, you would have to boil a kettle over an open fire or wash your clothes by hand in the river. As humankind advanced, innovative products were created to assist in easing our lives such as the washing machine, electricity, light, stoves and ovens to heaters, air conditioners, electric kettles, cars, boats, aero planes and hair dryers. This not only cut down the time spent on household duties, it also meant we could live more luxuriously. Unfortunately the consequences of adapting to this lifestyle mean it has produced green house gases and released carbon emissions which have been detrimental to our environment. By becoming aware of the negative effects that our leisurely lifestyle has caused, we can fix what we have slowly destroyed. By merely becoming more environmentally aware and using environmentally friendly alternatives, we are able reduce our personal and society’s waste of material and energy. Furthermore it will decrease your bills in the long term if you use products that are environmentally friendly.

Since a Renewable Energy (RE) system can be expensive, it is wise to invest in energy efficient appliances for your home. Every dollar you spend on efficient appliances will save you about three dollars in system components. For example, get rid of your electric water heater in favor of solar, propane, or natural gas. It takes many photovoltaic modules to run an electric water heater, stove, clothes dryer, or any other appliance that uses a heating element. Put all thermal loads on a non-electric source. The average household produces approximately 15 tones of greenhouse gases annually however if you have an energy smart household, it cuts a third of emissions.

Lighting is another important place to save energy. A 20 watt compact fluorescent will put out as much light as a 75 watt incandescent bulb, and last a lot longer. Outfitting an entire home with energy-efficient lighting will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of extra photovoltaic modules. The same is true for efficient refrigerators and freezers--efficient units use less than 1/4 the energy of inefficient units. Every watt-hour of energy you don't consume is a watt-hour you don't have to produce, convert, and store.

We are not talking about sitting and freezing in the dark, but doing whatever we choose to do in the most efficient manner possible. Energy efficiency pays big dividends in renewable energy systems.