Energy Saving Tips


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There are lots of ways you can save energy and shave dollars off your electric bill.
Check out some ideas on how you can start saving now.

1. Get to know your electric meter. Learn how to read your meter so that you can troubleshoot before receiving an expensive bill. During the heating season, check your meter (typically located on an exterior wall of your home) twice each month. Compare your current usage to previous years' usage to identify potential problems.

2. Use less hot water. Heating water is the second largest use of energy in the average home. Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees. Run the clothes washer only when full, and wash in cold water whenever possible. Do household cleaning with cold water, if possible.

3. Use water wisely. For example, turn water off when not necessary, such as while brushing teeth and shaving. Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it, and use the energy-saver mode and/or air-dry setting. When washing dishes in the sink, fill the sink with only as much water as you need and plug it with a stopper instead of letting the water run constantly. When washing clothes, use your washer's pre-soak cycle for heavily soiled loads to avoid two washings.

4. Turn off unnecessary lights and clean bulbs occasionally so dust doesn't block the light. Use task lighting if you only need light in one corner of a room instead of lighting the entire room.

5. Turn off electronics. Turn off power to computers, TVs and all electronic devices when you're not using them. This will avoid wasting standby power, which can account for as much as 10 percent of home energy use. Plug multiple devices into a power strip with a surge protector. This makes it easy to turn off all devices with the flip of one switch, while also protecting them from damage.

6. Increase your refrigerator's efficiency. Refrigerators and freezers run more efficiently when full. Try using water jugs to take up space. Set the refrigerator temperature to 35 to 40 degrees and the freezer temperature to zero to 10 degrees. Unplug units and vacuum the coils under or behind your refrigerator twice yearly to allow the motor/compressor to run less often and for shorter periods of time. Clean door gaskets occasionally to ensure a tight leak-proof seal.