Congratulate Yourself on Achieving One Easy Energy-Saving Resolution

You can cut wasted electricity used for lighting by as much as 30% when you replace manual light switches with occupancy or vacancy sensors.

by Alexis Powers Communications Specialist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The most successful New Year's resolution I've ever witnessed was the year when my husband vowed to eat more burritos. He succeeded regularly. Every time he was about to put another bloated tortilla into his mouth, he would congratulate himself on the act. It lasted all the way through the end of December.

If you really care about reducing your energy use, you too can apply the burrito tactic to have a successful resolution this year. The key is choosing one easy thing that makes you smile.

In the past, we've provided several ideas to inspire energy-saving changes. We encouraged you to unplug unused electronics, drive less aggressively, and do more for energy efficiency in 2016. We launched an #EnergyResolution campaign in 2015 that saw participants hire energy auditors, commit to carpooling, and take other steps.  In 2014, we came up with this lovely infographic that suggests actions like turning down your water heater and using curtains wisely.

This year, we're on the burrito train. Energy Saver encourages you to take one easy energy-saving step in 2017, and then feel good about having achieved it for the rest of the year. Personally, I want to replace the manual light switch in the kids' bathroom to an occupancy sensor. That way, it will automatically turn off when they are no longer in the room. It's less than $20, so I figure it will pay itself off quickly.

I just ordered one online to show that I'm really going to walk the talk this year. It will arrive on my doorstep in five days, at which point the self-congratulating can begin. That was the easiest resolution I've ever achieved!

It truly is an easy thing to take a small step and make an impact. Start by thinking about what makes the most sense for your home, budget, and lifestyle. Commit yourself to something that will reward you often if you do it just once. Then take action.

I can't wait to smile every time I see that light turn off without me doing it. Here's wishing you more energy-saving satisfaction than burritos in 2017.

Originally published on Energy.gov.

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