Jan 29, 2020
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Nobody likes to be wasteful. When it comes to energy waste, sometimes knowing is half the battle.
There are many opportunities available to conserve energy and reduce a utility bill that YOU can do today for little to no cost. We like to call this living a conservation "lifestyle". The links below will help to get started by adapting behaviors and habits to be more conscious and conservative with electrical usage. Often times, this means discovering the actual cost of using the electronics and appliances in the home.
After walking through the home, and making adjustments to habits, give the PUD 3 conservation department a call to schedule a free home energy assessment, where an energy efficiency advisor will come to the home to help identify further steps to take to save energy, and whether a home qualifies for any utility rebates or incentives. Call (360) 426-0777.
Heating is the largest consumer of electricity in electrically heated Mason County homes. Making thoughtful adjustments to thermostats will make a large impact on winter heating bills. For each degree a thermostat is turned down, a customer could see a 2% - 3% reduction in monthly heating bills. That's a significant improvement if there were no previous thermostat adjustments. Also, don't forget to turn down the thermostat and close the door in unused rooms
Furniture, curtains, or other household items blocking wall/baseboard heaters or register vents, could be blocking the heat they are trying to deliver. Rearrange furniture and curtains to take advantage of heat sources in the home. Vacuum the heater coils and clean registers often.
An electric water heater can account for up to 25% of a home’s energy bill. The United States Department of Energy recommends setting a residential water heater to 120°F to reduce energy usage and to help prevent scalding. Each 10°F reduction in water temperature can save 3% - 5% on an energy bill. Save energy and help make the home safer by reducing the thermostat setting on residential water heaters.
Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot water will save almost 90% of the energy needed to run a normal load of laundry. Cleaning the dryer lint screen before each load will help it to run more efficiently.
A dishwasher will use the same amount of water whether it's full or not. Save water and the energy needed to heat that water by running the dishwasher only when it's full. Also, consider using the dishwasher's "delay start" feature to reduce the demand on the home's hot water.
Refrigerators and freezers are running all the time. To ensure they are running efficiently, keep the refrigerator temperature at about 38°F and the freezer at about 0°F. Defrost the freezer when ice buildup is approximately 1/4" thick. Vacuum or brush the cooling coils (in back) at least every six months.
Reduce shower time. Shortening a shower by just a few minutes each day can really add up. A customer can save an average of 2.5 gallons of water per minute, not to mention the energy used to heat the water. Showers are a sneaky consumer of electricity because most people forget about the energy needed to heat the water for a warm shower. Install a low-flow showerhead on each shower at home.
Turn off the lights in rooms that are unoccupied.
Many TVs, DVD players, surround sound systems, and other consumer electronics have "Instant-On" features and small clocks. These features are consuming energy all the time. This can be very deceptive because the device looks like it's turned off. Unplug these devices from the wall. This will ensure they are not consuming energy while not in use.
Small appliances such as microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers use 50% - 80% less energy than an oven or range. If meal plans allow for it, using these devices will help reduce the energy bill. They will also help keep the home cooler in the summer.
Solar and wind power were around long before we started using them to power out lights!
In the summer months, take advantage of the abundant solar energy and hang laundry out to dry. Hopefully they'll smell like a field of cut grass and fresh flowers!
A home's heating system needs to breathe to run efficiently. Be sure to change the necessary filters regularly to keep the system up and running. Buying filters in multi-packs is a good way to ensure one is on hand when needed. Schedule an annual visit with an HVAC technician to service a home's heating system. This will help ensure equipment will last a long time and will be running efficiently throughout the heating season.
If you’re just getting started, replace the lights that are on the longest with LEDs. Perhaps a hallway light that you leave on at night, an outdoor security light, or a kitchen light. Or, if you have young children who can’t ever seem to remember to turn off their bedroom light when they leave, upgrade their room lights to LED to reduce the impact on your wallet while you teach them not to be wasteful!
Have you heard of "Dryer Balls"? They look like a dog's squeaky toy that you put in the dryer with your clothes. Manufacturers claim that they can save you money by reducing the amount of time your dryer will run when you add a dryer ball to your load of laundry. PUD 3 did a little experiment to make sure you aren't getting hung out to dry!
Adding or repairing the weatherstripping on doors and windows can significantly reduce heat loss and drafts. This is an excellent do-it-yourself project. Supplies can be purchased at most local home improvement stores.
Installing an ENERGY STAR ceiling fan is a good way to keep the air circulating in a home. Be sure to reverse the fan direction in the winter to pull the warm air off the ceiling and disperse it throughout the room. You’d be surprised what a big difference a fan can make. You might even become a fan… of your fan.
Repair leaking and dripping hot water faucet to keep the energy used to heat the water from going down the drain. If a home has a well pump, even a leaky cold water pipe and faucet can waste energy by causing the pump to continuously cycle on and off.
Installing motion sensors and photocell day/night sensors on outdoor lights and timers on indoor lights ensures electricity is being used to keep lights on only when necessary. In some cases, this will reduce energy used by nearly 80%!