Now that it’s winter and utility bills are on the rise, we wanted to share the top 10 tips to reduce energy use at home, as well as a printable version that you can share with your friends!
This list was developed by our coworkers over at AK EnergySmart, which has free K-12 lessons about energy.
- Eliminate “phantom loads.” Appliances use electricity even when they are “off.” Unplug devices when not in use or put them on a power strip that you can turn off.
- Use efficient lighting. Though initially more costly, light emitting diodes (LEDs) last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and use 1/4 of the energy.
- Monitor your energy use. A cheap and easy way to determine what is consuming the most power is to get an energy monitor, such as a Kill A Watt meter.
- Buy an energy saver. These devices save power by continuously adjusting the energy supply to match an appliance’s load.
- Invest in energy efficient appliances. If it’s time for you to replace an appliance, look for an appliance with an Energy Star label.
- Reduce the amount of hot water you use. Wash clothes in cool water, invest in low-flow showerheads and aerating faucets, or just take shorter showers.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater. You can reduce the temperature by a few degrees to save energy and money without noticing a difference.
- Insulate your water heater and pipes. Water heater jackets have quick payback periods and prevent excessive heat loss year-round. Be careful using electric heat tape that will increase your electricity usage.
- Install heat traps, a drain-water heat recovery system, or a timer. These simple and relatively cheap measures can help reduce heat loss and save you money.
- Invest in a solar water heater. Solar water heaters work by passing water or a heat-transfer fluid through the solar collectors and can displace electricity or natural gas.
Download PDF here to share with your friends, family, coworkers or anyone else who you would like to reduce their bills. Want to learn more? Read previous posts about how Shaina reduced her electricity and heat in her own home. Also check out these websites for more tips: Home Energy Checklist or AK Energy Efficiency.
As always, consult a professional for any home renovation or other work that you do.
-Colleen Fisk, Energy Education Director