Energy Saving Tips From A Rocket Scientist (Really)

Alden Wicker

The Scene: A 1500-square-foot, mid-century modern house in Phoenix, AZ, home to Bob and Helen Winkel.

The Inspiration: After unclogging lint from their dryer tube and realizing they were saving $15 a month on their energy bill, they decided to tackle energy-saving around the house.

The Challenge: Cut energy bills in half. Yes, half.

The Story: Despite rising energy prices, Bob and Helen cut their energy bills by 50% last year, saving an amazing $1,300 a year. They used this money to fund a trip to Paris (next year: a riverboat cruise in the Ukraine).

Bob with his binder of energy savings.The Mad Scientist: Bob Winkel has been an engineer for over 40 years, and is a Chief Fellow at Honeywell. “It wasn’t rocket science,” says Bob, an engineer who has patents for space shuttle and satellite components–OK, so maybe it is?

Over the course of two years, Bob hooked up smart meters to read energy usage on almost every device throughout the house, graphed data, crunched the numbers, and kept a big binder with all his energy use findings.

The upshot? We get his best tips, sans the meter-reading and number-crunching.

Helen did veto one of Bob’s energy-saving tweaks, though: turning down the hot water heater. “There’s one thing that I need,” she says, “and it’s a hot bath.”

Click the pictures below for Bob the engineer’s best money saving energy tips:


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    Alden Wicker