Download/print out these tips.
Turn it OFF:
- Turn off lights and electric devices when you don’t need them.
- Unplug electronics when you’re not using them – especially while you’re on vacation. When you return, plug in items only as you need them. Unplug chargers when you aren’t using them.
- Use computer and game console power management features. Default settings may use a lot of energy. Don’t forget to turn off your computer or game when finished.
Change your laundry and dishwasher habits:
- Choose a laundry drying cycle that uses the moisture sensor rather than the timer. You’ll save time and money, and avoid over-drying that can shrink and damage clothes.
- Even better, hang your laundry for air drying. You’ll save on your energy bill and lessen wear on your clothes.
- Make sure your dishwasher and clothes washer are FULL for each use.
- Use a lower temperature setting for your clothes washer and always rinse with cold water.
- Run your washers after 7pm, during off-peak hours, to reduce stress on the electric grid.
Change your thermostat habits:
- Use shades, blinds, drapes, vents, windows, and doors to help with heating and cooling. Open them to gain the sun’s heat and close them to block the heat. Close vents in unused rooms.
- Dress warm or cool rather than turning your thermostat up or down.
- Use your thermostat’s programmable settings to match your lifestyle. Better yet, give your thermostat a vacation when you take one and turn it off completely.
- Leave your thermostat’s fan switch on “auto” so the fan runs only when necessary. Fans set to “on” will run continuously, whether or not the heating or cooling system is running.
- Put a lid on that pot when you cook and limit oven use to decrease your natural gas or electric consumption.
- Take shorter showers to save water and reduce the energy used by your water heater.
- Turn down water heater temperature. If your hot water is hot enough to burn you, it’s too hot. Turn down your water heater to save energy and reduce the risk of burns.
- Use power strips for your electronics. Many electronics consume energy even when you’re not using them. These ‘energy vampires’ add 10% to your energy bill and cost the average home up to $200 a year. Plugging chargers, computers, TV, printers, and game consoles into a power strip lets you turn them off with one switch. Better yet, use a smart power strip — it turns off automatically when devices are not in use.
- Take a look at this great infographic developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for more information about advanced power strips – follow the flow chart to find the perfect power strip for your home!
- Before you buy new electric devices, look for energy efficient options. Products with an Energy Star® label use energy efficiently. You can find them on computers, TVs, washers, dryers, kitchen appliances, lights, and even fans. Buying Energy Star – or small appliances that better fit your lifestyle – will reduce your electric bill.
- Visit our resources page for more on finding and comparing efficient products.