Energy cutbacks increase savings

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Three ways to go and save green.

We implemented an energy plan that saves our hospital an average of $35 a month or $420 a year. Since its inception, the plan has saved our hospital an amazing $2,100. It's so easy to do, too. Contact your local power company and ask for a representative to come to your practice and do a complete power audit. The power company can diagnose any dangerous areas as well as tell you how you can improve your power efficiency, thus reducing your monthly bill. And the best part: The visit is usually free. Here's what we learned:

> Shut off any lights not in use. It's a myth that it takes more energy to turn on the lights than it does to shut them off. So if no one is in a room, cut the lights.

> Unplug all items not in use. Microscopes, toasters, coffee pots, and centrifuges all draw power if plugged in—even when they're turned off.

> Replace electronic devices, when in the market, with appliances deemed energy-efficient. Look for the Energy-Star label, which indicates that the product meets strict efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

—Dennis Michael Stuart, pet diet counselor, Village Animal Clinic; North Palm Beach, Fla.

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