Energy Efficiency Begins With You

You can take some simple steps to reduce your impact on the environment, not to mention your wallet. Use these low or no-cost energy saving tips to turn your home or business into a model of efficiency.

You can also read how we're partnering with our members through conservation, demand management and efficiency programs to reduce our impact.

Home Energy Rates

Home Efficiency Tips

When you have an energy-efficient home, you'll not only keep your family comfortable, you'll also save money.

Start by setting your thermostat to save.

 
Heating and Cooling
  • In summer, set your thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees when at home and above 80 degrees when away.
  • In winter, set your thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees when at home and 60 to 65 degrees when away.
  • Clean or replace air filters once a month to keep your HVAC running efficiently.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to manage your heating and cooling more efficiently.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you're finished cooking or bathing.
  • Clean out your HVAC with a garden hose.
  • Supplement your air conditioning with ceiling fans to increase comfort.
  • In the winter, open the shades on south-facing windows to let sunlight warm your house.
Appliances
  • Open your refrigerator door as seldom as possible.
  • When washing clothes, wash a full load and use cold water whenever possible.
  • Hang your clothes to dry when possible to save energy.
  • Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher and let your dishes air dry.
  • Use an outdoor grill in summer months to keep your kitchen cooler.
  • When replacing appliances, look for ENERGY STAR-rated products.
Electronics
  • Plug home electronics like TVs, stereos and DVD players into power strips that can be turned off when the electronics are not in use.
  • Use low-power mode for computers and phones.
Lighting
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs, which last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy.
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures.
  • Use natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Use timers and dimmers to lower light levels and reduce energy use.
Water
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater to "warm".
  • Take shorter showers and use low-flow showerheads.
  • Repair leaky faucets immediately.
  • Use low-flow toilets to reduce water usage.
Windows and Doors
  • During hot months, keep window coverings closed on south, east and west windows.
  • Keep windows and doors closed when using an air conditioner or heater.
  • Caulk and weather strip doors and windows.
  • Consider installing low-E windows, which can reduce heat loss by up to 50 percent.

Business Efficiency Tips

With a few small changes, your business can see a big difference in its bottom line. Explore these energy saving tips and learn how to increase the efficiency around your workplace.

 
Heating and Cooling
  • Establish monthly maintenance for your heating, venting and cooling equipment to keep it running efficiently.
  • In winter, set your thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees in working hours and 60 to 65 degrees after business hours.
  • In summer, set your thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees during working hours and above 80 degrees after business hours.
  • Install programmable thermostats that automatically adjust temperature and settings based on time of day.
Office Equipment
  • Turn off computers, monitors, printers and lights when not in use.
  • Educate and encourage employees to be energy-conscious and turn off equipment when not in use.
  • Using a laptop instead of a desktop computer can save up to 90 percent in power costs.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR-certified products when replacing office equipment.
  • Encourage paperless options within the office. Not only does it save paper, but also energy from printers not running as much.
Lighting
  • Install lighting sensors that automatically turn lights off when employees aren't present.
  • Replace incandescent lighting with CFLs or LEDs. You’ll save up to $40 over the lifetime of each bulb.
  • Replace incandescent “EXIT” signs with LED signs. They use up to 90 percent less energy and last 50 times longer.
  • When fluorescent T-12 lamps burn out, replace them with more efficient T-8 lamps.
  • Use natural sunlight whenever possible.

ENERGY STAR® Appliances

The federal ENERGY STAR® program helps businesses and individuals save money by reducing their energy use. Use the ENERGY STAR® Product Finder to easily find the best energy efficient appliances for your home or business.
Use the Product Finder  

Home Energy Audits

A home energy audit will help identify opportunities to reduce your monthly energy bill, and you can do it yourself. To get started, you'll need your home's square footage, the type of foundation it’s built on, the current amount of attic floor or roof insulation and a copy of your last electric bill.
Start your energy audit  

More Information

There are a number of tax credits available to help offset the cost of energy efficient appliances and home improvements. Here are a few good resources:

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Small Business Administration