Congratulations! Your child’s school has been selected to enroll in a valuable energy and water efficiency education program at no cost to you or your family. As part of the program, your child will bring home a kit that contains energy-saving products to help your family conserve energy and water. The kit items are meant to help both parents and students learn how to use energy wisely at home. Once you have installed the kit items, review the water and energy-saving tips below to learn how you and your family can make a big impact on your energy usage. Savings amounts may vary.
All savings tips are derived from ENERGY STAR® and Energy.gov.
Don't Overwork Your Thermostat
By adjusting your thermostat to a warmer setting in summer and a cooler setting in winter, you could save up to $170 a year.
Did you know that by adjusting your thermostat just one degree, your family can save as much as 1% on your home’s heating and cooling costs?
For maximum savings, lower the set point temperature of your thermostat by 7-10 degrees in the winter (setback) for eight hours a day and raising the set point temperature by 7-10 degrees in the summer for 8 hours a day.
Make sure all the windows and doors in your house are closed before turning on either the furnace or air conditioner. More energy is spent on heating and cooling our homes than anything else.
Can you feel or hear the wind coming in through your windows or doors, even when they are closed? If you can feel a draft, use rope caulk or weather stripping to prevent air from coming in or going out.
Make the most out of the air in your house by installing a fan. In the summer months, the fan should spin counter-clockwise to keep you cool. In the winter, put it in reverse and spin the fan to the right. And don’t forget to turn it off when you leave the room. A fan cooling the air for an empty room is only wasting precious resources.
Keep the vents in your home clear. It costs less energy to get warm or cool air into a room when the vents are not blocked.
Change the air filters in your home every one to three months to keep your heating and cooling systems running the most efficiently. Neglecting this necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning and heater performance while energy use steadily increases.
Landscape your yard with shade trees. Save 10% or more on your energy bill and contribute to better air quality. Shade trees are both a beautiful and cost-effective way to lower your energy use.
Shine a Light on Savings
LEDs use about 75% less energy and last at least 15 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Read on to learn where you can replace and save.
Replace your most used 60-watt traditional incandescent bulbs with —7-10.5 watt LEDs and save up to $8.07 per year, per bulb.
Turn the lights off when you leave the room. If you frequently forget to turn off your light, use the sticker found in your Super Savers Kit or leave yourself a note right on the light switch reminding you to turn off that light!
Whenever possible, use natural light from the sun to avoid using artificial lighting.
Don’t forget about the lights on the outside of your house. Holiday lights can be replaced with LED bulbs to save on energy usage and lower your bill. LED bulbs are also much cooler to the touch than traditional bulbs, so they don’t pose a fire hazard when lighting up the tree.
Don't Let Savings Run Down the Drain
Energy and water are connected. In many cases when you are saving energy, you are saving water as well. It takes energy to heat water, clean water, and bring the water to our homes. Water is a vital resource to our planet and our health. Read on to learn simple ways you can conserve.
Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth.
Only wash clothes when there is a full load to be washed. Reducing the total number of loads each year by 25% could save you 3,227 gallons of water.
While rinsing produce or waiting for the water to warm up, collect the water that would otherwise run down the drain and use it to water houseplants.
Set the timer and take short, five-minute showers instead of baths.
Water plants when it is coolest outside. The water you feed your lawn and plants during the hottest time of day will evaporate. Water first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night, and you will have healthier, happier plants, as well as more water saved.
Install hose nozzles on your outside hoses to prevent water from being wasted. This can save over 100 gallons of water in just a 15-minute car wash.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway, back patio or sidewalk.
Cutting Down Your Use
All of the appliances in your home cost money to run, but there are steps you can take to cut down on your usage, while saving money at the same time.
Use your major appliances, like the washing machine and dishwasher, during non-peak hours. For example, during summer months, washing your clothes after 8 p.m. may save energy, water and money. Check with your power provider to find out peak times in your area.
Turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry.
Even if you are using the appliances in your home the most efficient way, they could still be costing your family more money and energy than necessary. Replace your old, inefficient appliances with those that have the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR certified products use less energy and can save your family money.
Always wait for a full load to run the washer. After you use the dryer, clean the lint trap after every load.
Save energy this summer by cooking dinner on the grill instead of in the oven or on the stove top.
Make sure your water heater isn’t losing heat. Install an insulating blanket around the tank. Check with the manufacturer first before installing to avoid warranty issues.
Did you know your small appliances continue to drain energy even after they are turned off? To avoid energy use when your appliances are not in use, turn off and unplug your computer, TV, CD and DVD players, video game consoles and other small appliances.
Do you have an under-used or nearly empty refrigerator or freezer in your garage? Unplug it until it is being used again and at full capacity. An empty refrigerator actually uses more energy to cool than a full one.
If you have a fireplace in your home, check to see if the damper is open or closed. A damper left open when the heating or cooling system is on will allow heated or cooled air to escape up the chimney.