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Home Energy Saving Tips

Customers Save with Pioneer

Home energy saving tips can mean big energy savings on your next electric bill. From appliance purchases to minor home improvements, discover the tricks that make a huge difference in your home energy use. We can all do our part to reduce energy consumption, increase reliability during peak hours and save money on electricity bills.

Summer Home Energy Saving Tips

Home energy saving tips will keep you cool and save you money on your energy bill.

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. You’ll save around 5 to 10 percent on cooling costs for every two degrees you raise the temperature.

  • Adjust ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise in the summer.

  • Use fans instead of central air conditioning whenever possible. A fan costs nearly 90 percent less to operate than an air-conditioner.

  • Change air filters regularly. An air conditioning unit with dirty filters can use 5-10 percent more energy. In general, HVAC system air filters should be replaced once a month. However, since there are different types of filters, you should check your manufacturer’s recommendation regarding a replacement schedule.

  • Consider hiring a professional technician to clean the condenser and evaporator coils.

Appliances in Summer

  • Use your oven, stove, dishwasher, dryer, washing machine and other heat-producing appliances early in the morning or later in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.

  • Get rid of your older-model refrigerator or freezer, especially if you have an extra one in your garage.

Cooking in Summer

  • Prepare cold meals, like sandwiches or salads.

  • Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven. Consider using your microwave to cook or reheat meals during peak hours.

  • Use a bar-b-que instead of the stove or oven. This will save on air conditioning load.

More Ways to Save

  • Keep windows, blinds and draperies closed to keep the heat out.

  • Turn off unnecessary lights.

Winter Home Energy Saving Tips

Heating in Winter

  • Set the thermostat to 68 degrees, and lower it to 58 degrees at night or when no one’s home.

  • Program your thermostat so you don’t have to remember to change the setting.

  • If you have a heat pump, set the lower temperature to 63 degrees. Heat pumps are designed to maintain temperatures within a narrower range.

  • If you notice little or no air coming out of vents, or if some rooms are colder than others, have a licensed HVAC contractor check your ducts.

  • Get your heating system professionally checked once a year and change the air filters regularly.

  • Keep vents open and air flowing. Closing doors and room vents put extra strain on the central heating system.

Appliances in Winter

  • Use portable heaters only in rooms that don’t get enough heat, or if your home doesn’t have a central heating system. Remember to turn them off when a room is not in use.

  • Never use propane heaters, hibachis, barbecues – or any heater with an open flame – indoors. They produce carbon monoxide, a clear, odorless gas that can be fatal to humans and animals.

More Ways to Save this Winter

  • Open drapes and shades on sunny days to let in the sun’s heat; close them at night and on cloudy days.

  • Cover your fireplace and close the damper when not in use.

Year-Round Home Energy Saving Tips

Water Heaters

  • Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket to keep heated water warm.

  • Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees.

  • Install low-flow showerheads and fix leaky faucets.

Weatherization

  • If your house is more than 15 years old, check the insulation in the attic and floors.

  • Check the weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. Up to 20 percent of the heat or cool air inside a typical house is lost through the windows.

  • Curtains or blinds can act as additional insulation for windows or can be opened to let in the sun’s heat.

Lighting

  • Consider replacing any incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in your home with energy-efficient LED lights.

  • Install light-sensitive controls or timers to automatically turn off lights when they’re not needed.

  • Choose solar-powered lights for your yard.

  • Use desk lamps to focus the light where you actually need it, rather than wasting energy lighting an entire room.

Appliances

  • When you’re not using lights and appliances, turn them off or unplug them if possible.

  • Use smart strips so you can easily turn off multiple appliances at once.

  • Use dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers only when they’re full.

  • Avoid using appliances during the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., when demand for electricity is highest.

  • Clean the coils at the back or bottom of your refrigerator to keep it running efficiently.

  • Keep in mind that every time you open the refrigerator door, the compressor has to run for 8 to 10 minutes to cool it down again.

These tips have been compiled from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR program. If you have any questions about other ways to reduce your energy bills, please contact your Pioneer Community Energy team by email at info@pioneercommunityenergy.org or by phone at (916) 758-8969. For information on rebates, please visit PG&E’s website.

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