The Green Gate
Click on any tab to get a reading on the environmental health of the Bay Area
Air Water Wildlife Urban Living Health
Residential Electricity and Natural Gas Consumption
Overall Consumption Up but Recent Reductions in Electricity Use Are Encouraging
Findings at a glance A broader view What you can do

Take action on the Bay Area's behalf -- and your own. Here are some ways you can clear the air and curb global warming (and lower your electric bills) by using less electricity.

  • Buy energy-efficient products. The EPA has created the Energy Star label to help consumers spot high-quality, energy-saving products, which typically use 20 to 40 percent less energy than standard products. Using these products reduces pollution from power plants and saves money on energy bills (typically about $400 per household each year).

  • Conserve energy. Limit your energy use by turning off nonessential lights and appliances, setting your thermostats lower in cold weather and higher in warm, and using energy-efficient lightbulbs.

  • For more information about ways to cut your household energy use, see The 20% Solution.

  • You'll find lots more ways to reduce your electricity and natural gas consumption in our guide to saving power. (For still more Bay Area green-living tips, see all our Green Gate Green Guides.) And to keep informed and take action on the latest issues affecting the Bay Area and the rest of California, join NRDC's California Activist Network.

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