Utility Energy Savings Ideas

Money Saving Tips

Saving energy doesn't require a big investment, or a lot of time and effort. The following simple changes won't cost you much, but they can make a big difference on your utility bills. All ideas below are only suggestions offered

NO COST

1. Window/Doors: Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling.

2. Windows: Use shades, blinds and drapes to help with heating and cooling. Open them to gain the sun’s heat during heating season and close them to block the heat during cooling season. Thermostat

3. Thermostat: Adjust your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home. You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from its normal setting for 8 hours a day. Recommended thermostat settings when you are home are 68 F in winter and 78 F in summer.

4. Electronics: Unplug electronic devices that you’re not using – especially when you go on vacation. When you return, plug in items only as you need them. Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.

5. Lights: Turn off lights when no one needs them. Turn Lights Off

6. Go unplugged. Many electronic devices continue to use power when they're turned off or not in use. Unplug battery chargers and any other devices when it's convenient. Use a power strip as a central point to shut off power to clustered devices

7. Power Management: Use computer and game console power management features. Factory default settings are not always the most efficient – so check settings and adjust if needed. Turn off your computer or game when finished to save even more.

8. Hot Water Tank: Lower the setting on hot water tank. When going on away on holiday put on vacation setting while away for extended period. This way you are not paying to heat hot water tank while no one is home. Remember to set bank when you get back. Hot Water Tank Dial

9. Ceiling Fan: Flip the switch on your ceiling fan so the blades spin clockwise. This will push cold air up toward the ceiling and force hot air down into the occupied space.

10. Don’t heat unused rooms: There’s no sense in paying to heat a room you don’t use. Shut vents in unoccupied rooms and close the doors.

11. Take shorter showers. The typical shower uses 30 to 50 gallons of hot water, costing you money. Limit your time in the shower to 10 minutes or less. Install water-efficient showerheads; it's a low-cost upgrade that can reduce energy and water use.

 

LOW COST

1. Thermostat: Install a programmable thermostat for your comfort and convenience. It can adjust the heat or air conditioning for times you typically are away (when you go to work) and again for times you typically are home. You also can program it to turn the heat down when you go to sleep and turn it back up before you wake up in the morning. It adjusts automatically, so you don’t have to remember to do it. ENERGY STAR® reports that this could save you $180 annually. Programmable Therostat

2. Energy Star: Look for the blue and white Energy Star® label on compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. They use up to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last longer.

3. Power Strips: Use power strips for your electronic equipment. Many electronics consume energy even when you are not using them. Often called energy vampires, these devices use about $100 of energy a year. Plugging chargers, computers and printers into a power strip lets you turn them off with one switch. Better yet, use a smart power strip. It turns off automatically when devices are not in use.  Turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Power Strip

4. Windows: Install clear plastic insulation outside windows to help further insulate windows during winter. According to Black Hills Energy, windows and doors account for up to 12 percent of a home’s heat loss. Seal your home by adding weather stripping to your doors and plastic film to your windows.

5. Doors: Install door strips insulation if you feel any air around entry doors.

 

6. Furnace Filter: Clean or replace the furnace filter on hot air heating system at least once a year if not more. Replace more often if you have animals on premises. You can buy a bundle of filters at Home Depot, Lowe's, or local hardware store for $2 to $10 each. When replaced regularly studies show savings over $100 during a winter season. It is also a good idea to vacuum out heating vents.

Looking to save more? ENERGY STAR rated appliances, TVs and other electronic devices use less energy than standard models, while still providing the same great performance.