California raises the bar for energy efficiency standards

California is looking to raise their standards for energy efficiency even higher, as the California Energy Commission (CEC) has officially ceased taking submissions for new energy-saving guidelines from product manufacturers that could yield incredible savings in electricity and water bills.

Greentech Media reports that the CEC is looking to implement new eco-friendly measures in a wide range of common products, including computers, video game systems, internet service, swimming pools, bathroom tubs and sink faucets that could garner an estimated $1.2 billion from energy savings and water conservation. The CEC's data also indicates the environmental impact would be greatly reduced too, as these less-electricity-reliant appliances and fixtures would preclude the need for building three 500-megawatt power plants in the state. 

The initiative would have wide-reaching implications for water use too. According to the source, 30 percent of California's residential water usage can be attributed to simply flushing toilets, of which there are 27 million used annually by 38 million Californians. With more efficient models, like dual-flush toilets, residences in the Golden State can increasingly make the change to energy efficient homes. The Natural Resources Defense Council reports that measures like these could result in 50 billion gallons of conserved water – enough to supply a San Diego-sized city for an entire year – and 60 million therms of natural gas that could be saved from 130,000 California houses.

Homeowners in Virginia can take their own strides toward energy efficiency by scheduling an appointment for a home inspection. Virginia home inspectors can perform an energy audit of your property, which analyzes your house's energy use, whether or not it's wasting power in any area and what could be done to fix this. Not only would a home inspection make your residence more environmentally-friendly, but it can help significantly reduce your utility bills.