Energy Efficiency Tips

Small Steps Add Up to Big Savings

Your family has taken the first step to saving energy by installing the items provided in your Energy Efficiency Kit. The tips below can help you save even more.

These savings tips come from ENERGY STAR® and

  • Don’t Overwork Your Thermostat

    Adjust your thermostat to a warmer setting in the summer and a cooler setting in the winter and save.


    • Adjusting your thermostat by just one degree can save your family up to 3 percent on your home’s heating and cooling costs.

    • In the winter, set your thermostat at or below 70°F when you’re home and at 65°F at night. In the summer, set your air conditioner at or above 74°F, or as high as safety and comfort allow.

    • Close all the windows and doors in your house before turning on the furnace or air conditioner.

    • Can you feel a draft or hear the wind coming in around your windows or doors, even when they are shut? If you can, use rope caulk or weather stripping to fill the gaps and prevent air from coming in or going out.

    • Make the most out of the heated or cooled air in your house by using a fan. In summer, ceiling fans should spin counter-clockwise to keep you cool. In winter, reverse the direction to push heated air near the ceiling down the walls and into the room. Don’t forget to turn fans off when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not air.

    • Keep the vents in your home clear. It takes less energy to get warm or cool air into a room when the vents aren’t blocked.
  • Shine a Light on Savings

    LED bulbs are more efficient than both incandescent bulbs and CFLs and can last up to 20 years or more. Replace your incandescent bulbs or CFLs with LEDs to save energy and money.

    • Turn the lights off when you leave the room. If you frequently forget to turn off a light, place a reminder note on the light switch.

    • Have a limited number of LEDs? Install them where the light is likely to be left on for at least 3 or 4 hours (i.e., skip the closet)!

    • Whenever possible, use natural light from the sun to light your home.

    • Don’t forget about outdoor lights. LED holiday lights can save up to 50 times the energy. They’ll last longer, and since they’re cool to the touch, they won’t pose a fire hazard.
  • Don’t Let Savings Run Down the Drain

    Energy and water are connected—it takes energy to heat, clean and bring water to our homes. In many cases, when you save water at home, you save energy, too.

    • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

    • Wash clothes when there is a full load—and use cold water.

    • Set the timer and take short, five-minute showers instead of baths.

    • When rinsing produce or waiting for the water to warm up, collect the water that would run down the drain to water houseplants.
  • Cutting Down Your Use

    All appliances in your home cost money to run, but there are steps you can take to cut energy use and save money with little inconvenience.

    • Turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle, and let the dishes air dry.

    • When needed, replace old, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® labeled ones. ENERGY STAR certified products are the most efficient available.

    • Clean the dryer lint trap after every load.

    • Save energy by cooking dinner on the grill, or in the microwave or crock pot instead of in the oven or on the stove top.

    • If your water heater is in the garage or an unheated basement, install an insulating blanket around the tank. Check with the manufacturer first before installing to avoid warranty issues.

    • Electronic appliances often use energy even when they are turned off. To avoid this, plug your computer, TV, CD players, video game consoles and other electronics into a power strip, and turn it off when not in use. You can also install an advanced power strip that automatically turns off peripheral equipment when the main item is turned off, i.e. a television or computer.

    • Do you have an under-used or nearly-empty refrigerator or freezer in your garage? Unplug it until it is being used again at full capacity. An empty refrigerator uses more energy to cool than a full one. Bonus! If it’s time to get rid of your unused refrigerator or freezer, you can schedule online a FREE pickup of the appliance. Then we’ll mail you a check for $35.

    • If you have a fireplace in your home, check to see if the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use. An open damper lets heated or cooled air escape through the chimney.

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