Tips to Help You Save Energy at Home
Take advantage of these helpful tips for saving energy in your home every day. Small but simple steps you can take to save energy which will help with your bill in the long term.
Tips to Save on Every Plan
Adjust the thermostat
Adjust up in the summer and shut off when not in use. Even a few degrees can significantly reduce air conditioning costs. In the summer, set your air conditioner to 78 degrees or higher. Changing the A/C thermostat from 72 to 78 degrees can save up to 12% of your cooling costs. Gain remote control and get a rebate on a smart programmable thermostat.
Block direct sunlight in the summer
Close window coverings or shade exposed windows with solar shade screens, reflective films, awnings or trees.
Turn off or set office equipment to power down when not in use. Turning off one computer and monitor nightly and on weekends can save up to $80 a year. Setting PCs, monitors and copiers to use sleep mode when not in use can help cut energy costs by up to 50 percent. Use power strips or unplug electronics such as DVRs, game consoles and TVs that draw power even when switched off.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater
120° F is sufficient for most common uses. A 10° F reduction can save up to five percent on water heating costs. This only affects gas usage, unless your water heater is electric.
Stream on the right device
When streaming content, choose the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching. Game consoles can use 10 times more power than streaming through a tablet or laptop.
Keep your furnace clean
Check furnace filters once a month and replace them regularly. A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and cause problems with your equipment.
Upgrade your lighting
Along with LED light bulbs, use ENERGY STAR light fixtures, which use less energy and produce less heat.
Use small appliances
Instead of using the oven, use small appliances such as a microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker. They use less energy and won’t add much heat to your home.
Keep your fridge full
A full fridge works more efficient than an empty one. Pack cold items together to keep your fridge and freezer cool. Consider storing a supply of emergency water to keep your fridge full.
Maximize your dishwasher
Run full loads and consider turning off the dry cycle and letting your dishes air dry.
Fire up the grill
Take the heat out of your kitchen by cooking outside. It’s also a good excuse to get your family outside and away from electronics.
Sign up for Alerts in My Account
Keep track of your use by signing up for billing and energy use alerts in My Account.
Switch from A/C to fans
If you can comfortably use a fan instead of air conditioning, it makes a big difference. Using a portable or ceiling fan to circulate air in one room can cost about 4 cents per hour. Cooling your entire house with central A/C can cost about $1 to $2 per hour.
Freshen A/C filters regularly
Clean or replace the filter in your central A/C to help it run more efficiently.
Look for air leaks
Weatherstrip and caulk drafty doors and windows to keep conditioned air in and save up to 5% on cooling costs.
Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which provide the same amount of light, use up to 75 percent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer.
Upgrade your pool pump
Filter your swimming pool for less when you switch to an energy-efficient, variable-speed pool pump.
Use a pool or spa cover
Covers can reduce heat loss by up to 90%.
Install occupancy sensors
These inexpensive devices can reduce lighting costs by up to 40 percent.
Invest in energy-efficient equipment
Always look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol, which indicates it meets federal standards for energy efficiency.
Block the heat
Weather strip and caulk drafty doors and windows to keep the cold air in and hot air out. During the heat of the day, cover windows to block the sun’s heat. If you can, open windows at night and early mornings to let the cool air in.
Keep your A/C fit
Check your air conditioner’s filter every 1-2 months. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
Don’t get burned by hot water
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120F, if possible. You’ll not only save energy; you’ll avoid scalding your hands.
Avoid creating more heat Use heat-generating appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers in the morning or evening.
Block the chill
Weatherstrip and caulk drafty doors and windows to keep the chilly air out. During mid-day, open window coverings to let in the sun’s heat and close them at night to block the cold.
Holiday lighting with LEDs
During the holidays, save with LED light decorations, which use up to 90% less energy than incandescent holiday lights. Save even more by setting a timer to keep displays on only when people are seeing them.
Reduce pool filtering time
Reduce pool filtering and sweeping to a minimum during winter.
Adjust the thermostat
Set the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and lower at night, if health permits. Lowering the thermostat three to five degrees can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
Complete annual maintenance
Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Hot water leaks cause increased demand on the water heater which increases natural gas use. And don’t forget to test air ducts for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost between 10 to 30 percent in heating costs.
Look for air leaks
Install proper caulking and weather-stripping; this can save roughly 10 to 15 percent on heating bills.
Energy Usage Plan-Specific Tips
Shift to save
Shift some of your energy use outside of higher-priced on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Simple ways to shift include doing laundry or running your dishwasher during off-peak or super off-peak periods.
Set a programmable thermostat
With a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature during on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Adjust your pool timer
Schedule pool filtering and automatic pool sweep time to before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.
Program your charge
You could save money by programming your EV to charge at night during super off-peak hours from midnight to 6 a.m.
Watch your usage and generation
You can track your excess energy generation that goes out to the grid, and your incoming usage in My Account. While seasonal fluctuations are to be expected — your solar system’s output will naturally go down in the winter when there are fewer daylight hours — a professional may be able to diagnose a non-seasonal drop.
Be sure to keep up with basic maintenance and annual checkups with a professional to make sure your system is operating at full capacity. Check with your installer to see if your package includes maintenance. Solar panels in particular require very little upkeep, but occasional cleanings and checkups will maximize your savings.
Regularly check to make sure your panels are not covered by shade from nearby trees.