As 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.
The DC Public Library and Pepco are working together this summer to present the new Introduction to Energy Management class. In this class you’ll:
Get tips to help you save money and energy
Design a custom energy management plan for your home
Learn how to use tools on My Account at pepco.com
Receive a complimentary, reusable gift bag with tools to help you save
This 60 minute course, developed by The George Washington University and Pepco, is designed to help you understand how you can manage and reduce your energy use to save money.
Introduction to Energy Management will cover several topics that provide you with useful information, tips and tools about Pepco’s energy saving programs and online energy management tools available through My Account. This dashboard features charts and graphs to help you better understand your energy use information.
You’ll walk away with your own energy management plan to help you take better control of your energy use at home.
Classes are being offered at the following DC Public Library locations:
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.
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.
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.
Knowing which devices are using the most energy in your home can help you save energy and money.
Here are three of the top energy users in your home:
Did you know that the heating system in your home typically represents 30% of your total energy usage? If your heating system is less than 20 years old, it should still have some life left in it. You can expect as many as 20 to 25 years of service from properly installed and maintained heating equipment. To help make this long service life a reality, it is a good idea to have your heating system inspected and adjusted on an annual basis. If your system is over 10 years old, then you should place it on an annual maintenance program. Good preventive maintenance will ensure that your system runs safely and efficiently for many years.
Air Conditioning Units (Central Unit and Room/Window Air Conditioners)
Air conditioning systems can last for 15 years or more. If your system doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to, you should have a service person look at it to determine the likely cause of the problem. If there is a significant problem, simply comparing the price to repair the system with the cost of replacement will give you a good idea of what you should do. If your system is already over 10 years old, you may want to consider a new unit. Especially if you have a large home with a high cooling load, the annual savings from installing a new system may pay for itself in a short time. Lowering your thermostat to 68°F during the winter and 78°F in the summer can also help reduce your monthly energy bill. Be sure to keep your air conditioning unit well-tuned with periodic maintenance.
Water Heating System (Bathrooms, Clothes Washers and Dishwashers)
After heating and cooling, water heating is typically the next largest consumer of energy in the United States. In general, factors impacting water heater energy consumption can be separated into two categories – factors affecting the amount of hot water used and those affecting the efficiency of the water heating system. Factors impacting water usage are the use of water for bathing, showering, shaving, and other purposes as well as the use of clothes washers and dishwashers. Showering habits normally have the largest impact on water heating energy consumption. If your water heater is more than seven years old, you should consider purchasing one that is energy-efficient and most appropriately meets your needs.
Want more information about your own home’s energy usage? You can monitor and control your home energy usage through My Account. Also check out our Energy Savings Programs to learn more about conserving energy in your home.
As the temperature rises during the summer months, so does the demand for electricity. Because of this, we’re offering customers in Maryland 2 Ways to Save energy and money this summer.
Peak Energy Savings Credit
The Peak Energy Savings Credit (PESC) lets you earn a credit off your bill when you reduce your electricity use on specially designated Peak Savings Days, when demand for electricity is at its highest. You will receive a credit of $1.25 off your bill for every kilowatt hour (kWh) you reduce your energy below your baseline.
Saving energy on Peak Savings Days can be as simple as turning off lights, waiting to run your clothes dryer until later or setting the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees higher. If you have a central air conditioner, you can also participate in Energy Wise Rewards to automatically reduce the energy use and receive guaranteed credits off your bill.
Here’s how it works:
No enrollment is needed. When a Peak Savings Day is announced, you’ll automatically receive a phone call the night before giving you the hours for reducing your energy use. You can also choose to be notified by text or email and set your personal notification preferences on My Account. You can decide if you want to reduce your energy use on a particular Peak Savings Day.
Reduce your energy use below your baseline on Peak Savings Days to earn a credit off your bill. The less energy you use on Peak Savings Days, the more money you can save.
The voluntary Energy Wise Rewards program from Pepco makes it easy to automatically reduce your central air conditioner energy use during Peak Energy Savings Days. By signing up for Energy Wise Rewards, you will receive your choice of a web-programmable thermostat or an outdoor switch, provided and installed at no charge, and a one-time installation credit of $40-80, depending on the cycling level you choose. Then, during summer months (June through October) you will receive up to $80 in Annual Reward Credits off your bill.
During the specified time period on Peak Savings Days, we’ll automatically cycle off and on your central air conditioner or heat pump to help manage energy use. Your fan continues to circulate already cooled air through the home.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up for Energy Wise Rewards by calling 1-866-353-5798 or visit pepco.com/rewards.
Select your cycling level – 50%, 75% or 100%. Most people start with 50% cycling, meaning that the A/C compressor will run half the time it did during the prior hour.
Choose your device – the web-programmable thermostat or outdoor switch and receive a one-time installation Credit of $40-$80 off your bill.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep lights low or off when not needed. Electric lights generate heat and add to the load on your air conditioner.
Plant shade trees strategically around your home. Properly selected and planted shade trees can save up to $80 annually on the average electric bill.
Use window or whole house ventilating fans to cool your home.
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.
Enroll in Energy Wise Rewards to take more control over your energy usage and save money on energy costs.