Cutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to reduce energy consumption while saving money. Here are some suggestions you can do at home, at absolutely no cost to you.
Use your appliances wisely
- To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your appliances during peak hours, from 4 - 9 p.m., or anytime an electricity emergency is declared.
- Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes. (Save 4%)
- Line dry clothes whenever you can. (Save up to 5%)
- When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use. (Save 0.5%)
- Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded, and turn off the dry cycle and air dry dishes instead. (Save 1%)
Eliminate wasted energy
- Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use. (Save 2%)
- Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use-most new electronics use electricity even when switched "off." Turn computers and printers off at the power strip. (Save 1-2%)
- Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don't really need it. This will save you $150 per year! (Save 10-20%)
Replace air filters
- Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit. (Save 1-2%)
Plug your home's leaks
- Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers. Common caulking compounds (Save up to 2%)
Seal your ducts
- Leaking ductwork accounts for 25% of cooling costs in an average home, so have your ducts tested and have any leaks or restrictions repaired by a qualified contractor. Note: duct cleaning is not the same as duct sealing. (Save 10-20%)
Increase attic insulation
- Buy ENERGY STAR® certified table lamps and light fixtures, and replace your incandescent light bulbs that are used more than two hours per day with ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent bulbs. For example, install compact fluorescent bulbs in your porch light if you leave it on overnight.
(Savings: For each bulb you'll save 0.2% for each hour the bulb operates on a typical day. Therefore, replacing an incandescent bulb that burns 10 hours per day will save 2%)
- Install an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat. (Save 1-3%) If your air conditioner is on the way out, buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner. (Save up to 10%)
- Replace your refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® model. Refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer design can save you an additional 2-3% on your bill compared to a side-by-side design. (Save 10%)
- Install ENERGY STAR® windows. If your windows are due for replacement, ENERGY STAR® windows can make your house more comfortable year-round. (Save up to 10%)
For more information on how to save money and energy, refer to the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Home Energy Saver websites.