Now that your new meter will help you monitor your energy use, it's time to take control. Here are some helpful hints on what you can do to save energy at home:
Summer Tips
Warm tips
Tip #1 - Thermostat Setting
Set your thermostat to 78°F, a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature.

Tip #2 - Air Conditioner and your Thermostat
Don't set your thermostat to 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.

Tip #3 - Ceiling Fans
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.

Tip #4 - Appliance Placement
Don't place lamps or television sets near your thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which could cause your system to run longer than necessary.

Tip #5 - Shade Usage
Keep out the daytime sun with vertical louvers or awnings on the outside of your windows. Draw any draperies, blinds and shades.

Tip #6 - Air Circulation
Maintain proper air circulation. Keep heating supply registers and cold-air return registers clear of draperies and furniture.

Tip #7 - Cooling System Maintenance
Keep your cooling system well tuned with periodic maintenance by a professional service representative. Ask your service representative how the energy efficiency of the system may be increased.

Tip #8 - Air Conditioner Selection
When selecting a central air conditioning unit, be sure to choose one with the proper capacity and highest efficiency.

Tip #9 - Air Conditioner Efficiency
Choose a central air conditioning unit or room air conditioning unit that uses a minimal amount of electricity to complete its task. High Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEERs)-such as 13.0 SEER and above-correspond with greater efficiency. Energy Efficiency Ratios (EERs) provide the same guidance for room air conditioning units.

Tip #10 - Whole-House Ventilating Fans

Install a whole-house ventilating fan in your attic or in an upstairs window to help air circulate in your home or small business. Although not a replacement for a central air conditioning system, a fan is an effective way to stay comfortable on milder days.

Tip #11 - Filter Maintenance
Clean or replace air conditioning filters. Dirty air filters should be cleaned or replaced every month. Foam filters can be rinsed with water and wrung dry. Fiberglass filters need to be replaced.

Tip #12 - Air Conditioner Maintenance
No matter what kind of central air conditioning system you have, clean the outside condenser coil once a year. To clean, turn off the unit and spray the coils with water at a low pressure. (High water pressure may bend the fins.) Try to spray from the top of the unit down and outward.

Tip #13 - Duct Tape Usage

Use duct tape to seal the cracks between each section of an air duct on your central air conditioning or forced-heating system.

Tip #14 - Ventilating Fans
Use window or whole-house ventilating fans to cool your home or small business.

Tip #15 - Heat Mitigation
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.

Tip #16 - Light Conservation
Keep lights low or off when not needed. Electric lights generate heat and add to the load on your air conditioner.

Tip #17 - Plant Trees
Plant shade trees strategically around your home or small business. Properly selected and planted shade trees can help save up to $80 annually on the average electric utility bill.

Tip #18 - Appliance Usage
Cook and use other heat-generating appliances in the early morning and late evening hours whenever possible.

Tip #19 - Attic Insulation
Insulate your attic floor or top-floor ceiling to a minimum of R-49 for these spaces. R-values or numbers indicate the resistance of an insulation material to heat flow. The higher the R-number, the more effective the insulating capability. R-values appear on the packages of insulation materials.

Tip #20 - Insulation Safety
Don't insulate over eave vents or on top of recessed lighting fixtures or other heat producing equipment on the attic floor. Also, keep insulation at least 3 inches away from the sides of these types of fixtures.

Tip #21 - Duct Insulation
Insulate heating and cooling ducts in areas of unconditioned air like the attic and basement.

Tip #22 - Attic Insulation
Don't let air seep into your home or small business through the attic access door. Check the door to make sure it is well insulated and weather-stripped-otherwise, you'll be wasting fuel to heat or cool the attic.

Tip #23 - Storm Window Insulation
Install storm windows. Combination screen and storm windows (triple-track glass combination) are the most convenient because they can be opened easily when there's no need to run heating or cooling equipment.

Tip #24 - Clotheslines

Save energy by using an old-fashioned clothesline. Doing so can make clothes seem fresher and dryer than those emerging from a dryer.

Cold tips

Tip #25 - Equipment Maintenance
Keep your heating equipment well tuned with periodic maintenance by a professional service representative.

Tip #26 - Thermostat Temperatures
Set your thermostat to 68°F during the day and 60°F at night. You can save 3% on your heating costs for every degree you reduce the temperature below 70°F for the entire heating season.

Tip #27 - Thermostat Use

Turn down your thermostat at night or when you're away for more than four hours during the day. Do not turn off your heating system entirely as this may cause pipes to freeze.

Tip #28 - Fireplace Use
If you have a simple open-masonry fireplace, consider installing a glass screen, a convective grate, a radiant grate or a fireplace insert. They'll help cut down on the loss of warm air through the fireplace chimney.

Tip #29 - Thermostat Placement
Don't place lamps or television sets near your thermostat. Heat from these appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause your furnace to shut off sooner than is needed for adequate warmth.

Tip #30 - Air Duct Maintenance
Check the duct work for air leaks about once a year if you have a forced-air heating system. To do this, feel around the duct joints for escaping air when the fan is on. Relatively small leaks can be easily repaired by covering holes or cracks with duct tape. More stubborn problems may require caulking as well as taping.

Tip #31 - Duct Insulation
Insulate heating and cooling ducts in areas of unconditioned air such as the attic and basement.

Tip #32 - Attic Insulation
Don't let air seep into your home or small business through the attic access door. Check the door to make sure it is well insulated and weather stripped. Otherwise, you'll be wasting fuel to heat or cool the attic.

Tip #33 - Radiator Maintenance
Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces frequently. Dust and grime impede the flow of heat.

Tip #34 - Attic Insulation
Insulate your attic floor or top-floor ceiling to a minimum of R-49 for these spaces. R-values or numbers indicate the resistance of an insulation material to heat flow. The higher the R-number, the more effective the insulating capability. R-values appear on the packages of insulation materials.

Tip #35 - Insulation Safety
Don't insulate over eave vents or on top of recessed lighting fixtures or other heat producing equipment on the attic floor. Also, keep insulation at least 3 inches away from the sides of these types of fixtures.

Tip #36 - Lighting Insulation
Reduce air leaks around light fixtures, pipe chases and plugs with foam insulation or other insulating materials.

Tip #37 - Storm Windows
Install storm windows. Combination screen and storm windows (triple-track glass combination) are the most convenient because they can be opened easily when there's no need to run heating or cooling equipment.





Year-round tips

Tip #38 - Ventilating Fans
Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans sparingly. You can waste a houseful of heat in just two to three hours overusing ventilating fans. Turn them off when their job is complete.

Tip #39 - Boiling Water

Never boil water in an uncovered pan. Water will come to a boil faster and use less energy in a kettle or covered pan.

Tip #40 - Garbage Disposal Usage
Use cold water rather than hot to operate your food disposal. Cold water also helps get rid of grease by solidifying it, so it can then be ground up and washed away.

Tip #41 - Kitchen Sink Faucet
Install an aerator in your kitchen sink faucet.

Tip #42 - Stove Use
Get in the habit of turning off the elements or surface units on your electric stove several minutes before completing the allotted cooking time. The heating element will stay hot long enough to finish the cooking without wasting electricity.

Tip #43 - Oven Use
Turn off the oven five to 10 minutes before cooking time is up and let trapped heat finish the cooking.

Tip #44 - Cooking
When using the oven, cook as many foods as you can simultaneously

Tip #45 - Oven Use
Avoid opening the oven door repeatedly to check food that is cooking. This allows heat to escape and results in the use of more energy to complete the cooking of your food. Instead, watch the clock or use a timer.

Tip #46 - Small Appliance Use

Use small electric cooking appliances or ovens for small meals rather than the kitchen range or oven. They use less energy.

Tip #47 - Pressure Cookers/Microwaves
Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens if you have them. They save energy by reducing cooking times.

Tip #48 - Oven Preheating
Don't preheat the oven unless absolutely necessary, and then for no more than 10 minutes.

Tip #49 - Broiler Use
Avoid using the broiler. It is a big energy user.

Tip #50 - Thawing
Thaw frozen foods before cooking. It will save time and energy.

Tip #51 - Dishwasher Efficiency
When buying a dishwasher, look for an energy-efficient model with air power and/or overnight dry settings. These features automatically turn off the dishwasher after the rinse cycle. This can save you up to 10% of your dishwashing energy costs.

Tip #52 - Pre-Rinsing Dishes
Scrape dishes and rinse with cold water from the faucet before loading them into the dishwasher. Avoid using the dishwasher's pre-rinse cycle.

Tip #53 - Dishwasher Use
Be sure your dishwasher is full but not overloaded when you turn it on.

Tip #54 - Dishwasher Settings
Don't use the "rinse-hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses three to seven gallons of hot water each time you use it.

Tip #55 - Refrigerator/Freezer Settings
Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures: 38°F to 40°F for fresh food compartments of the refrigerator; 5°F for the freezer compartment. Separate freezers for long-term storage should be kept at 0°F. Open the refrigerator or freezer door only when necessary, and don't hold it open any longer than necessary.

Tip #56 - Refrigerator/Freezer Maintenance

Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the refrigerator at its proper temperature. Never allow frost to build up more than one quarter of an inch.

Tip #57 - Refrigerator/Freezer Placement

If possible, don't place your refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or near the stove.

Tip #58 - Refrigerator/Freezer Maintenance
Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door on a piece of paper or dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or dollar out easily, the hinge may need adjusting or the seal may need replacing.

Tip #59 - Window Maintenance

Test your windows and doors to see if they are airtight. Add weather stripping and caulk where necessary. It is inexpensive and can save you 10 percent or more in annual energy costs.

Tip #60 - Water Heater Use

Buy a high-efficiency water heater. When you need a new water heater, purchase a unit with a high Energy Factor (EF) rating. EF ratings-such as those of .91 and above-correspond with greater efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficiently the unit will operate.

Tip #61 - Water Heater Temperatures

Turn down the water heater temperature dial to 120°F or less, or to the "warm" setting. If you have a dishwasher, be sure to check your manufacturer's instructions for minimum water temperature.

Tip #62 - Water Heater Maintenance
Insulate the outside of your water heater with an insulation blanket to reduce heat loss and save $10 to $20 a year.

Tip #63 - Water Use
Wash clothes in warm or cold water, rinse in cold.

Tip #64 - Filling Washers
Fill washers and clothes dryers but do not overload them.

Tip #65 - Dryer Maintenance

Keep your clothes dryer's lint screen clean and its outside exhaust free of obstructions. Clean the lint screen after each load of laundry, and check the exhaust regularly. A lint screen in need of cleaning and a clogged exhaust can lengthen drying time and increase the amount of energy used.

Tip #66 - Ironing

Remove clothes that will need ironing from the dryer and hang them while they are still damp.

Tip #67 - Ironing
Save energy needed for ironing by hanging clothes in the bathroom while you're bathing or showering. By doing so, you can steam out some wrinkles and cut down on ironing time.

Tip #68 - Ironing

Avoid piecemeal ironing. If possible, iron a large load of clothes each time.

Tip #69 - Showering
Take showers rather than tub baths, but limit both your showering time and the water flow if you want to save energy.

Tip #70 - Showerhead Maintenance
Install a water-flow controller in the pipe at the showerhead. This saves a considerable amount of hot water and the energy used to produce it.

Tip #71 - Sink Maintenance
Install an aerator in the bathroom sink.

Tip #72 - Shaving
Don't let water run while shaving. This wastes hot water and the energy used to heat it.

Tip #73 - Light Bulb Use

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. Compact fluorescent bulbs work best in the kitchen, bathroom or a work area. Deluxe white fluorescent bulbs produce the most pleasing light. Socket extenders and special adapters let you use compact fluorescent bulbs in your table lamps.

Tip #74 - Light Bulb Use
Halogen bulbs are another energy-efficient choice for indoor and outdoor lighting. They use about 25 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and produce an intense white light, making them ideal for spot, flood and security lighting. Halogen torchieres, however, can pose a fire hazard due to the high temperatures produced by these bulbs.

Tip #75 - Light Bulb Use
When using incandescent bulbs, use the lowest wattage possible or convenient. In many cases, a lower wattage bulb can be substituted for the one currently being used.

Tip #76 - Light Zoning
Light-zone your home and save electricity. Concentrate lighting in reading and work areas, and where it's needed for safety, such as in stairwells. Reduce lighting in other areas, but avoid very sharp contrasts. Use one large bulb instead of several small ones in areas where bright light is needed. Use timers, motion detectors, heat sensors or photocell controls for light fixtures when possible.

Tip #77 - Dimmer Installation
Consider installing solid-state dimmers. They make it easy to save energy by reducing the lighting intensity in a room.


Additional valuable resources
Using energy efficiently will not only save energy but can help you save money. Your smart meter data gives you further insight on when and how you're using energy and thus gives you the power to make informed decisions that can directly impact your energy use.

Explore the energy efficiency resources below:




ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.