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Energy Efficiency Tips

Programmable Thermostats can save you energy and money! Efficiency Tip #1:  Programmable Thermostats

Using a programmable thermostat can save you energy and money!  When you are asleep or out of the house, these devices can automatically turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° while you are away at work and then change it back for when you arrive at home. You can also set it to lower or raise the temp in your home while you are asleep! Changing your thermostat settings for eight hours can save you around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.  Consider a wi-fi enable device and you can control the temperature in your home from your mobile device!  Programmable thermostats make it easy to set back your temperature - set it and forget it!


Cooking Efficiency TipEfficiency Tip #2: In the Kitchen

Every time you open the oven door to check on a dish, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, increasing cooking time - and energy use!  Try using the oven light instead. 

Use small electric pans, toaster ovens or convection ovens for small meals rather than your stove or oven. A toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.


Electric plug-in space heaterEfficiency Tip #3:  The truth about electric space heaters. (If it seems too good to be true, it probably is)

Your local electric cooperative advises members to be cautious of claims that a "magic" space heater will slash your electric bill by up to 50 percent, or that you can heat your home for pennies a day.  We encourage members to investigate fully before purchasing a potentially costly space heater.

To achieve the savings these "magic" space heater advertisements claim, you must turn the temperature in your hose down to between 50 - 60 degrees and move the heater with you from room to room. Not only is this a potential safety hazard, you also sacrifice convenience and comfort in the rest of your home.


Consider the operating cost

Before you purchase an electric plug-in space heater that claims to lower your heating bill, consider the operating costs. The cost to operate depends on the type of heater and the size of room you are heating. Use the formula provided below to calculate operating costs of and electric space heater, or any electric appliance.


First, convert watts to watt hours:  ________ watts ÷ 1,000 = ________ kilowatts

Next, calculate the operating cost: ________ kilowatts x .11¢ per hour          
_______¢ per hour x ______ operating hours - $_________ per day 
$________ per day x 30 days = MONTHLY COST TO OPERATE



You can use this same formula to estimate an appliance's energy use:

You can usually find the wattage of most appliances stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance, or on its nameplate. The wattage listed is the maximum power drawn by the appliance. Since many appliances have a range of settings (hairdryers), the actual amount of power consumed depends on the setting used at any one time.

Here are some examples of the range of nameplate wattages for various household appliances:

  • Clothes washer = 350–500 Watts

  • Dishwasher = 1200–2400 Watts (heat drying feature increases energy use)

  • Microwave oven = 750–1100 Watts

  • Personal computer

    • CPU - awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less

    • Monitor - awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less

    • Laptop = 50 Watts

  • Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725 Watts

  • Televisions

    • Smart TV = 100 Watts

    • Flat screen = 120 Watts

  • Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500 Watts


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