Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle introduced Eco Footprints into lots and neighborhoods. With the introduction of Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle came a new rating system for items your sims use in the homes each day. You now see a “Power Consumption Rating” under items that use electricity to run and a “Water Consumption Rating” under items that use water. The scale runs from 1 to 10 depending on how efficient the item is, choosing to use energy and water efficient items can impact your sim’s Eco Footprint.
This article will go over how the overall Eco Footprint works and how the Power Consumption Rating and Water Consumption Rating systems work and play into the overall Footprint system that was added to the game with the introduction of Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle.
Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle
The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle is a Sims 4 Expansion pack that centers around the environment and your sims coming together through neighborhood action plans to make change. The expansion pack was highly anticipated by the Sims community because it included the first ladder to be added to the game (a base game ladder was added later), and it includes storage container wall papers, flooring, and ceiling patterns that were sadly excluded from the earlier tiny living pack.
The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle introduced Eco Footprints which are unique to each lot and neighborhood. The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle neighborhood Evergreen Harbor is very unique because it has extra neighborhood action plans that can change the entire look of the neighborhoods.
What is an Eco Footprint?
There are three different types of Eco Footprints you can have either in a neighborhood or your sim’s household. You can either have a Green, Neutral, or Industrial Eco Footprint.
A Green footprint results when you are using more green technology or limiting your power and water consumption. If you install solar panels or windmills for power and dew catching systems for water, your sim’s household eco footprint is likely to be greener. Your household’s footprint will have an impact on your neighborhood’s overall footprint. If you are in a Green neighborhood you will notice an aura in the sky that is now visible because the neighborhood doesn’t have any air pollution.
A Neutral footprint is what most neighborhoods start with outside of Evergreen Harbor. A neutral eco footprint won’t have any noticeable effects on your sims or your sim’s neighborhood. A Neutral footprint is the easiest to manipulate if you want to try and make your neighborhood greener or more industrial.
An Industrial footprint is the result of using industrial grade appliances and/or consuming a lot of energy and water. If you live in a neighborhood with an industrial footprint then you will notice that there is smog that cultivates in your sim’s neighborhood. This can give your sims a negative moodlet when they are outside.
How do Eco Footprints work?
Eco footprints change over time based on the households that are within the neighborhood. You can see which households are contributing to either a greener footprint or industrial footprint by selecting the “Eco Footprint Mode” in manage worlds. This will show each lot’s current eco footprint. If you have multiple households that have either a green or industrial footprint the entire neighborhood will start to change over time.
There are some things you can do to influence each lot’s footprint. You can purchase greener or more industrial grade appliances, you can also add some lot traits or lot challenges to help.
To become Green:
If you want to make your lot greener you can add some “Green” alternative energy and water solutions to your lot. For example you can reduce your water consumption by installing either the “Scrapper’s Dew Collector” or the “Lab-Pro X2 Dew Collector.” They both operate the same way, the Lab-Pro X2 Dew Collector is the more efficient and more reliable option out of the two Dew Collectors. If you put a few of these on your lot you will notice your water bill decrease and your eco-footprint will become greener.
You can also opt to use either solar panels or wind turbines to help reduce your energy consumption and reduce your overall power consumption. There are two types of the solar panels and wind turbines, you can choose the ones that go on the ground or the ones that go on the roof. The ones on the ground can break and you will have to repair them or upgrade them to be unbreakable. The roof versions of both the wind turbines and the solar panels will not break and is one less thing you have to worry about.
When you build your house you can also choose to use greener materials. For instance you can choose the “Heavy Metal Paneled Roof Sheet” roofing material that was made with upcycled from shipping containers. You will see that it has a Eco Footprint Green: 1 rating below the description. This is applicable to almost all building material categories. Look out for these ratings when creating your lots to help boost your green footprint.
When purchasing items you can also look for both power efficient and water efficient items. You can determine this by looking at either the Power Consumption Rating for energy efficient items or the Water Consumption Rating for water efficient items. These are on a scale from 1 to 10 and are explained in detail in the sections below.
In addition to outsourcing both your energy and water consumption to alternative sources you can opt to have the Eco Lot trait added in the info bar in the build/buy mode. This trait helps move your lot toward eco-friendliness faster.
To become Industrial:
If you want to go the opposite direction and start making your neighborhood more industrial you will need to seek different types of alternative power and water sources. You can opt for the “Household Power Generator” to give your house power and the “Atmospheric Water Generator” to source your lot’s water.
To use both of these you will need to use bits and pieces to fuel them. They will not run on their own like their green counterparts. You have to manually fuel them using either 25 bits or 25 pieces. You can get bits and pieces by recycling or dumpster diving.
When purchasing items you can also avoid both power efficient and water efficient items. You can determine this by looking at either the Power Consumption Rating for energy efficient items or the Water Consumption Rating for water efficient items. These are on a scale from 1 to 10 and are explained in detail in the sections below.
While there are green building materials there are also industrial rated building materials that can effect your sim’s lot and make it an industrial hub. Unfortunately the Eco Lifestyle expansion pack leaned heavily on making it more conducive to become a green lot than an industrial lot. While there are some industrial grade building materials you are severally limited. You can choose from a few wall coverings two included with Eco Lifestyle and a few roofing materials as well.
There are no lot traits or lot challenges that really make an impact on how quickly your lot will become industrial.
What is a Power Consumption Rating?
The Power Consumption rating determines how efficient an item is with power. There is some conflicting information out there on this topic, but after testing it, I can confirm that the Power Consumption rating rates efficient rather than the amount of power consumed.
The scale goes from 1 (being the least efficient, i.e. using a lot of power) to 10 (the most efficient, uses less power). The more power you use the higher your water and power bills will be so you will want to try and opt for the more efficient objects to help lower your bills. You can determine how much your appliances effect your bills by clicking on your mailbox and selecting “Show Bills Information.”
The Power Consumption Rating can have a significant impact on your bills each week. To compare I went to an empty lot and put a single refrigerator on the lot to see the bill impact on each extreme of the power consumption scale. I first placed the “Crisponix Budget Dee-Lux (Used)” refrigerator from Sims 4 City Living that has a Power Consumption Rating of 1 on the lot. This fridge brought the rate of change to -23.70 per day.
Next I placed “The Schmapple Fridge” that has a Power Consumption rating of 10 on the lot. The rate of change was only -6.00 per day. While this will help on your energy usage and how much you have to pay each week in power bills, there is a significant lot tax difference that you should take note of. Do keep in mind however that the more efficient appliances do cost a significantly more than the less efficient appliances. It can almost negate the savings you’d get from the power usage alone.
You can also opt to upgrade your items to be more energy efficient. The same “Crisponix Budget Dee-Lux (Used)” fridge went from -23.70 per day to -11.85 per day once it was upgraded to be more energy efficient. This option may be the best bill saving option available (aside from off-the grid options). This helps you lower your energy bills but also helps you avoid higher lot taxes due to not having as high of a lot value.
In addition to saving money on bills, energy efficient appliance can help your sims have a greener lot and ultimately a greener neighborhood.
What is a Water Consumption Rating?
The Water Consumption rating works similar to the power consumption rating. The higher the rating the more efficient the item will be. The same bill complications do come up though. The more efficient the item the more it costs, so while you save on the water bill your lot taxes will go up.
If you want to learn more about the Water Consumption Rating and how it affects your sim’s weekly bills, you can find more detail in my article that goes over how the water consumption rating works.
You can choose to upgrade items to be a “Water Recycler” which will keep them from using so much water and can help you save money both on your lot taxes and your water bill each week. If money is not a worry for your sims, you will want to opt for items that have a high Water Consumption Rating to help make your lot greener. Using efficient appliances can have a positive green effect on your sim’s lot and their neighborhood.