Small efforts can reap large rewards when it comes to energy efficiency.
Consider taking these quick, easy steps to save money on your energy bill:
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Light bulbs use only a small amount of energy to start up – for a compact fluorescent light bulb, only a few seconds of operating power – so it’s almost always energy efficient to turn them off when they’re not in use. In an average home, lighting accounts for nearly 15 percent of electricity costs. Potential savings: up to $25 per year.
- Switch to energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFLs provide $1 worth of conventional lighting for just 25 cents. With savings of about $30 over the lifetime of each bulb – and more than 40 light sockets in the average home – adopting CFLs will produce energy savings that add up.
- Seal leaky ducts. Ducts carry air from your cooling and heating systems to each room of your home. When they leak, ducts can lose as much as 20 percent or more of conditioned air before it reaches a living space. Just like opening the window while the air conditioning is on, leaving leaks in your duct system wastes energy and money. Potential savings: up to $135 per year.
- Replace air filters regularly. Dirty air filters make your air conditioner and furnace work harder to circulate the air. By cleaning or replacing your filters monthly, you can improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
- Use ceiling or oscillating fans to keep air moving so you feel cooler without increasing air conditioner use. If you use fans along with an air conditioner, you can raise the temperature on your thermostat by 4 degrees without decreasing the comfort level.
- Turn off and/or unplug appliances when they are not in use. Many electronic devices continue to draw power even when they are turned off. By unplugging devices and chargers when they are not in use, you can avoid paying for this extra energy. Potential savings: up to $55 per year.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater. Water heating accounts for up to 20 percent of a typical home’s total energy use. Each 10 degrees you lower the temperature of your water heater can result in 5 percent savings in water-heating costs. Potential savings: up to $45 per year.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR® appliances. ENERGY STAR qualified products use as much as 65 percent less energy than standard models. Look for the ENERGY STAR logo on the product package, sales tag or the item itself. Hundreds of ENERGY STAR-qualified products are on the market. Potential savings: up to $85 per year.
“An informed customer is a happy customer,” said Armando Ruiz, Senior Tech Specialist with the Tucson Electric Power Residential Energy Efficiency Program. “When customers understand how their behavior influences their bill and how energy is used in their homes, they can make smart decisions that really make a difference.”