October is Energy Awareness Month

October Blog Photo Option2As we welcome fall foliage and football season, we also celebrate Energy Awareness Month in October. Here are a few tips to help you start saving energy in your home:

  • Change Your Filters. Clean or replace the filter in your forced-air heating and cooling systems each month. Foam filters can be rinsed with water but be sure they are dry before replacing. Fiberglass filters need to be replaced periodically.
  • Reduce Water Heating. Turn down the water heater temperature dial to 120 degrees F, or to the “warm” setting if you have a dishwasher. Be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for minimum water temperature.
  • Try Efficient Lighting. Use compact fluorescent bulbs. They produce about three to four times as much light per watt as incandescent bulbs. While compact fluorescents are initially more expensive, they last up to 10 times longer.
  • Charge Smarter. Put your laptop AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically) to maximize savings; the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter.

You can find additional home energy saving tips on our website, and can monitor your home’s energy usage by logging into My Account.

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Preparing for the Summer Heat

Keeping your home or business cool requires more energy as temperatures rise. But a little preparation can help you stay comfortable and manage your summer energy bills.

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Here are some simple ways to help save money and energy:

  • Turn off lights when you leave the room
  • Close window blinds and curtains to keep the sun from warming your home or office
  • If health permits, set the temperature on your air conditioner a few degrees higher – but be sure to stay comfortable
  • Use window or whole house ventilating fans
  • Unplug electronics when they are not in use
  • Place a dry towel in your clothes dryer with each load of wet laundry to absorb dampness and reduce drying time
  • Barbecue outside instead of heating up your kitchen with the stove or oven

For more ways to save, visit our Save Money and Conserve Energy section. You will find tips to help you save money and energy, as well as information about programs in your area that can help you save even more.

Tips for Conserving Electricity

Demand for electricity is expected to increase as the extremely cold weather lingers for the next several days. Customers are encouraged to conserve electricity, if health permits – especially from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Customers can take these simple electricity conservation steps:

  • Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits.
  • Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
  • Gather in a central room where you have alternative heat. At night, cover windows with drapes or blankets to minimize heat loss. During the day, open blinds to let sun warm the space.
  • Keep draperies and shades open during the day to let the sunshine in; close them at night.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

You can also view our Helpful Ways to Save brochure for more conservation tips.

Ten Ways to Keep Your Home Cool and Save Energy

More than half of home energy use goes to space cooling and heating. Here are a few tips to maximize your home’s cooling system while saving money and energy.

  1. Install a whole-house ventilating fan in your attic or in an upstairs window to help air circulate in your home. Although not a replacement for a central air conditioning system, a fan is an effective way to stay comfortable on milder days. Remember to cover and insulate it during the winter to prevent heat loss.
  2. Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn your air conditioner on. It will not cool faster, but it will cool to a lower temperature than you need and use more energy.
  3. Consider using a ceiling fan with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air to other rooms. But be sure the air conditioner is large enough to help cool the additional space.
  4. Keep lamps or television sets away from the thermostat. Heat from these appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause your system to run longer than necessary.
  5. Keep lights low or off when not needed. Electric lights generate heat and add to the load on your air conditioner.
  6. Plant shade trees strategically around your home. Properly selected and planted shade trees can save up to $80 annually on the average electric bill.
  7. Use window or whole house ventilating fans to cool your home.
  8. Use vents and exhaust fans to pull heat and moisture from the attic, kitchen, bath and laundry directly to the outside, if you don’t have air conditioning.
  9. Enroll in Energy Wise Rewards to take more control over your energy usage and save money on energy costs.

You can also read our “Helpful Ways to Save” brochure for more tips on saving money and energy.