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  • Start big. An air conditioning system, or HVAC, can make up almost half of your home’s total electric usage. Keep it clean and well-maintained to reduce operating times. Change filters every 2 to 3 months, and set your thermostat to 78 degrees on warm days. You can save 6 to 8 percent on energy costs for every degree that you turn up your thermostat.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to cool down or heat your home or business prior to peak time – then use the air conditioner more sparingly during the peak.
  • Use a timer switch for your tank water heater to avoid operation during peak periods or when you are away from home. Lowering the thermostat will save 3 to 5 percent in energy costs for every 10oF reduced. Cutting the temperature from 140oF to 120oF could save about $41 a year from your power bills.
  • Many swimming pool pumps have timers – set your timer to avoid operation during peak time. Pumps should run no more than 6 hours each day in the summer and 4 hours daily in the winter. Pool pumps can cost about $21 a month to operate.
  • Shift some of your household chores to off-peak times to save operating costs for clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers and other appliances.
  • Turn off computers when not used. You should turn off the monitor if you aren't going to use your computer for more than 20 minutes. Both the computer and monitor should be turned off if not used for more than 2 hours. Did you know that laptop computers also save electricity? Laptops operate at 15 to 25 watts compared to desktop computers and monitors, which use an average of 150 watts during regular use.
  • Little things add up. Many electric appliances continue to draw electricity even when they are not in use, adding up to 10 percent to your monthly power bills.
    • A typical cell phone charger will draw .26 watts of electricity when a phone is not plugged in - 2.2 watts when the phone is connected and fully charged. Digital televisions, video game consoles and other electronic devices also can draw small amounts of power when not used.
    • Unplug these devices when not used. If possible, plug multiple devices into a power strip or surge suppressor that will shut off all of them with a single switch.
  • Turn off lights when not needed. Lighting accounts for 6 percent of electric costs for the average home. Switch to energy saving LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Last updated: 4/13/2016 5:12:03 PM