Electricity Savings Tips
The average residential electric bill is directly proportional to the amount of electricity used during a billing period. Most consumers can reduce their electric bill by implementing one or more of the following electricity savings tips.
Note: Average residential electric usage is broken into 4 main categories:
- Heating and/or air conditioning = 45%
- Lighting, cooking and other appliances = 34%
- Water heating = 13%
- Refrigeration = 8%
Air conditioning and/or heating
- For cooling, set the thermostat to 78 degrees. Each degree cooler will increase the cooling related usage by 8%. Likewise, each degree warmer will reduce the cooling related usage by 8%.
- For heating, set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Each degree warmer will increase the heating related usage by 6%. Likewise, each degree cooler will reduce the heating related usage by 6%.
- Cool or heat your home only when someone is there. Raise or lower the temperature setting (as appropriate for the season) when you leave and readjust it when you return. You can buy an inexpensive programmable thermostat that will do this for you if your hours are regular.
- Verify the accuracy of your thermostat by placing a thermometer next to your thermostat and comparing the readings.
- Change filters monthly.
- Have the system checked by a qualified technician once or twice a year.
- Have the duct system checked for leaks and adequate insulation.
- Make sure your attic has adequate insulation. The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends R-49 for our area.
- Check doors and windows for air leaks.
- Keep all ducts and doors open to ensure proper airflow through the system.
- Ceiling fans do not cool; they just make you feel cooler. Turn them off when not in a room.
- When your system needs to be replaced remember that the higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) the lower the operating cost. The DOE recommends a SEER of 13 or higher.
Lighting, cooking and other appliances
- Turn lights off when no one is in the room.
- Use fluorescent lights when possible. Replace burned out incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs which are 4 times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer.
- Avoid pre-washing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Wash full loads in the dishwasher.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer before every load of clothes.
- Use a cold rinse when washing clothes.
- Use a microwave instead of the oven when possible.
- Keep the oven door closed.
- Never place aluminum foil on an oven bottom.
- Cook with lids on pots.
- Use glass and ceramic pans instead of metal pans for cooking.
- Cover exhaust fans when not in use.
- Unplug seldom used devices such as VCR’s, DVD players, computers, monitors, etc. that have a standby or energy saving mode.
- Lower the thermostat on each element to 120 degrees.
- Wrap the water heater with an insulation blanket.
- Turn down or shut off the water heater when you will be away for extended periods (days).
- Set refrigerator temperature between 36 and 38 degrees.
- Set freezer temperature between 0 and 5 degrees.
- Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator.
DOE websites at: