April 17, 2020

Spending more time at home leads to increased electric costs. With April 22 marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, now is a great time to take simple steps to reduce electric use and save money on your electric bill.

 Efficiency Smart offers the following earth-friendly tips to save energy and money at home: 

  1. Lighting — Replace your existing lightbulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs and use natural light when possible. 
  2. HVAC — Change your furnace filter every three months to keep your HVAC system performing efficiently.
  3. Laundry — Wash your laundry with cold water, as water heating accounts for around 90 percent of the energy used when washing clothes.
  4. Electronics — Items like laptops, monitors and printers use electricity even when turned off. Plug electronics into a smart power strip to automatically disconnect the power supply and avoid wasting energy.
  5. Windows — Open windows during milder spring temperatures and during cooler summer nights to naturally cool your home. Remember to shut the windows if you need to use air conditioning.
  6. Water heating — Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. Manufacturers often set it higher than necessary and 120 degrees is a safe setting to prevent bacteria from growing.
  7. Air sealing — Caulk and add weather stripping to prevent conditioned air from leaking out.
  8. Ceiling fans — Raise your thermostat four degrees and use ceiling fans to reduce air conditioning costs while keeping your home comfortable.
  9. Turn it off — An easy way to save energy is to turn off lights, televisions and video game consoles when you leave the room.
  10. Spring clean — Simple cleaning tasks can help reduce energy use:
  • Clean dust from under your fridge and from any exposed coils at the back
  • Clear lint from the exhaust hose and the filter of your clothes dryer
  • Dust bathroom ceiling fan covers and fan blades
  • Clear any dust, webs, leaves or lint from accessible exterior vents

 In addition to these tips, Efficiency Smart’s free Online Home Energy Assessment and Electric Bill Advice programs offer energy saving recommendations customized for your home. Visit www.efficiencysmart.org or call 877-889-3777 for more information about these programs and other services for customers of participating municipal electric systems.