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Home Energy Management

Tips & Tools to reduce energy use at home to save money or lower your carbon footprint.

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Energy Efficiency

Simply put, energy efficiency means using less energy to get the same job done – and in the process, cutting your energy bill and reducing pollution.

As your local electric cooperative and trusted energy partner, we’re here to give you the tools, tips, and programs so you can use your energy smarter, more efficiently, and least expensively.

If you’re ready to reduce your energy use and start saving on your electricity costs, find helpful tips and resources here.

Easy Home Energy Tips

Heating & Cooling

Heating and cooling your home and water are some of the largest household energy expenses – accounting for up to 60% of total energy use.

  • Electric heat pumps can transfer 300% more energy than they consume, compared to a high-efficiency gas furnace’s 95% rating. They’re great for adding AC, remodels or expansions, and new home construction.
  • Air leakage accounts for 25% to 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling. Seal windows and doors with caulk or weatherstripping.
  • Run ceiling fans counterclockwise in the summer to produce a wind chill effect. In the winter, run fans clockwise to force warm air near the ceiling down to the occupied space.
  • Draw your shades to keep rooms cooler in the summer. Open blinds in the winter to let sunlight in, and close them at night to keep warm air from escaping.

Lighting

Around 15% of your monthly energy costs can come from lighting.

  • Switching to energy-efficient LED lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills.
  • The average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting.
  • An LED light bulb uses just 7 to 10 watts, while a fluorescent light bulb consumes 16 to 20 watts, and an incandescent light bulb typically uses 60 watts.
  • The average 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb is 6X as efficient as a comparable incandescent light bulb!

Around the Home

Look for ways to save in every room of your house.

  • Fix leaky faucets. Drips can waste gallons of water, and it’s especially costly for hot water leaks.
  • Clean vents and filters to help appliances run efficiently.
  • Rinse dishes in cool water, so you’re not wasting hot water that costs money to heat.
  • Turn off power strips or unplug appliances to reduce ‘ghost charge’ – where electricity is consumed even when turned off.
  • Always wash full loads of dishes and laundry to maximize water use and savings.

Start Saving With a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats give you easy automation to efficiently control your home’s heating and cooling. They can help you save around 5% of energy needed to heat and cool your home. And you can control them from anywhere, even while you’re away.

If you have central air, consider enrolling in Power Peak Rewards to join your fellow co-op members who help us reduce energy demand during the summer months. Perks include a $50 sign-up bill credit and an annual $30 participation reward.

Members on a time-of-use rate can program their smart thermostat to use energy at off-peak, low-cost energy times.

Rebates for Purchasing New Smart Thermostats Stroke 1 Click to Join Power Peak Rewards Stroke 1

ENERGY STAR Products

Look for the ENERGY STAR logo on your appliance or in the paperwork.

Access a complete list of the latest ENERGY STAR appliances here.

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Certified HVAC Technicians

We can help if you’re considering making improvements to your HVAC system.

Our Select – HVAC program connects you with our preferred list of certified HVAC technicians who adhere to our high standards and are trained in our system requirements so you can trust them to get the job done.

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Energy Efficiency FAQs

Heating & Cooling

  • Use your thermostat wisely.
    • For every degree you set back your thermostat, you could save 1% of your total heating and cooling bill.
    • Buy a programmable or smart thermostat to use energy efficiently. They can generally help you save around 5% by adjusting the temperature, especially while you’re asleep or away from home.
    • When using a fireplace, turn down your thermostat.
  • Optimize your heaters, furnaces, AC units, and their vents.
    • Replace or clean your filters every 90 days to help your systems run as efficiently as possible.
    • That also includes cleaning and dusting radiator fins, baseboard heaters, and AC unit coils to increase their efficiency.
    • Use a certified technician to perform annual service maintenance. Access our trusted list of contractors through our Select – HVAC program.
    • Use space heaters wisely by operating them according to their manufacturer’s specifications, facing them towards people and not spaces, any by keeping them away from combustibles.
  • Air circulation is important.
    • Keep interior doors open to help circulate air and maintain a constant temperature level.
    • Or focus heating and cooling to rooms your in by closing doors to rooms not in use.
    • Ceiling fans can make temperatures feel up to 8 degrees cooler. Make sure you turn off your fan when you leave the room, or use motion sensing switches.
  • Bundle up yourself and your home to stay warm.
    • Consider wearing additional layers before cranking up the thermostat.
    • That goes for your home as well. Adding an area rug can reduce heat losses through the floor.
    • Window drapes can keep warm air from escaping through windows.
  • Trees can help!
    • Dense evergreen trees or shrubs on the north side of your property can function as a windbreak, reducing home heating costs by 10% to 15%.
    • By positioning trees and shrubs to shade your AC unit, you can help it run up to 10% more efficiently.
    • Summer temperatures can be up to 6 degrees cooler in the shade, so consider planting trees to shade your home and you could save up to 25% on cooling energy.

Lighting

  • LED light bulbs are a valuable investment in your home.
    • Switching to energy-efficient LED lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills.
    • The average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting.
    • An LED light bulb uses just 7 to 10 watts, while a fluorescent light bulb consumes 16 to 20 watts, and an incandescent light bulb typically uses 60 watts.
    • The average 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb is 6X as efficient as a comparable incandescent light bulb!
    • Choose an LED light bulb with 1/4 of what you would typically buy for an incandescent bulb.
  • Motion sensing light options can help you save.
    • Install motion sensor switches so you never forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room.
    • Consider using outdoor motion detection lighting wherever possible.
  • How to dispose of old light bulbs.
    • LED light bulbs do not need to be recycled and can be thrown away in the trash.
    • Incandescent light bulbs can be thrown away in the trash.
    • Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and tubes must be recycled.

Windows & Doors

  • Seal windows and doors to prevent loss of energy from air leaks.
    • Air leakage accounts for 25% to 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling.
    • Seal windows and doors with caulk or weatherstripping.
    • Caulk is generally used for cracks and openings between stationary components like around door and window frames.
    • Weatherstripping is used to seal components that move, such as doors and operable windows.
    • Find additional information at Energy.gov.
  • Replace single-pane windows.
    • Double-pane low emissivity (low-e) windows are most efficient.
  • Select windows with both low U-factors and SHGCs to maximize energy savings in hot and cold climates.
    • The U-factor is the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. These windows better control thermal resistance in colder climates.
    • The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is a measure of solar radiation admitted through a window. Low SHGCs reduce heat gain in warm climates.
    • Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGCs, rather than center-of-glass, as the whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.
  • Install storm windows.
    • Storm windows are installed in addition to the primary house windows to provide extra wind protection and weather insulation.
    • Storm windows with a low emissivity (low-e) coating are more insulating, reflect heat back into the house during the winter, and can help your home stay cooler in the summer.
    • Low-e exterior and interior storm windows can save you 10% to 30% on heating and cooling costs.
    • These windows reflect radiant heat 35% better than clear glass storm windows.
    • More information on storm window options can be found here.
  • Add energy efficient window coverings.
    • In the cooling season, about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.
    • Window attachments help improve comfort, control daylight and glare, save energy, reduce cold drafts near windows, provide privacy, and better control temperatures.
    • Remember: in the winter, open window coverings to allow the sun to heat your home. In the summer, consider closing coverings to reduce heat gain.
    • More information available on window covering options is available here.
  • How to select the right exterior door.
    • Consider replacing old doors with new better fit and insulated doors to help lower heating and cooling costs.
    • Look for the ENERGY STAR label to help identify good options.
    • The U-factor is the rate at which a door conducts non-solar heat flow. The lower the U-factor, the better the door keeps heat in.
    • The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is a measure of solar radiation admitted through a door. Look for a low SHGC in a climate that mainly requires cooling, and a high SHGC in a climate that requires heating.
    • More information on exterior doors is available here.
  • What are the different types of exterior doors?
    • One common type of exterior door has a steel or fiberglass skin with a polyurethane foam insulation core. These options, without a window, can be up to 5X more insulating than a solid wood door of the same size.
    • Single-pane glass or patio doors, especially sliding glass doors, lose much more heat because glass is a poor insulator and the weather stopping breaks down over time and use. Consider replacing older model doors with several layers of glass, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and/or low-conductivity gasses between the glass panes.
    • More information on exterior doors is available here.
  • Proper installation is important.
    • Before adding the interior trim, apply expanding foam caulking to seal the new doorframe to the rough opening and threshold. Apply carefully, especially if the frame is wood, to avoid having the foam force the frame out of the square.
    • New, pre-hung exterior doors should have weatherstripping already installed. Check the weatherstripping on your exterior doors annually to see if it needs replacement.
  • Consider adding storm doors.
    • If you plan to purchase a storm door, consider features that improve the energy efficiency.
    • Wooden storm doors require more maintenance than other types.
    • Metal-framed storm doors might have foam insulation inside their frames for added strength.
    • High-quality storm doors use low emissivity (low-e) glass or glazing to increase energy efficiency.
    • A glass storm door could trap heat against an entry door and cause damage if the exterior door gets more than a few hours of direct sun each day.
    • More information on storm doors is available here.

Insulation

  • Properly insulate your home.
    • Proper insulation provides resistance to heat flow and lowers your heating and cooling costs.
    • Properly insulating your home also improves your overall comfort.
    • Invest in high-quality insulation to help keep cool and warm air inside your home.
    • More information about insulation is available here.
  • What are R-values?
    • The R-value is the measurement of an insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. Basically, it’s the thermal resistance value.
    • The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.
    • When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers together.
    • The amount of insulation or R-value you’ll need depends on your climate, type of heating and cooling system, and the part of your house you plan to insulate.
    • More information about insulation is available here.
  • What are the different types of insulation?
    • There are many different types of insulation available to meet diverse needs.
    • Consider where you want or need to install or add insulation.
    • Determine the recommended R-values for areas you want to insulate.
    • Find additional information and resources online from Energy.gov.

Water Heating

Contact Our Energy Experts Today

For questions, contact us by filling out the accompanying form or reach out via email or phone.

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