What goes up must come down…

image from Sacramento State

Energy rates are going up in California, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and elsewhere.

Either your paycheck must go up, or your energy use must go down.

So barring any year-end bonuses, I wanted to post an excerpt of strategies from Xcel Energy to help bring home energy costs down without spending any money to upgrade equipment.

1. Heating and cooling uses 45% of the typical house’s energy.
Reduce indoor thermostat temperature from 72 to 68 degrees during the heating season to save 5 percent on heating costs.

2. Household appliances, such as ranges, ovens, and microwave ovens, account for 15% of the typical home’s energy use.
Use lids to trap steam and help food cook faster.

3. A water heater uses 11% of the typical home’s energy use.
Take a short shower. Every minute you cut from your shower time saves three gallons of water and the energy used
to heat the water. You’ll save hundreds of gallons of water a year taking showers over baths, and you’ll save the energy to heat all that wasted water.

4. A clothes washer and dryer uses 10% of typical household energy.
Dry loads back to back. Since your dryer retains heat, dry several loads in a row. You can reduce the heat level on the last load or two. Dry your lightweight items together, using a lower heat setting for less time.

5. Lighting uses 7% of a home’s energy.
Turn off lights when unneeded. Every time you turn off lights when they’re not needed, you’re saving energy and money. Keeping one 75-watt bulb off for one hour per day saves $2.15 per year.

6. Your refrigerator uses 6% of your home’s energy.
Cover your food. Covered foods reduce power consumption by limiting moisture evaporation into the air. Moist
air takes more energy to cool than dry air, forcing the compressor to work harder. Plus, your refrigerator will smell better.

7. Your dishwasher uses 2% of your home’s energy.
Scrape your dishes. Scrape your dishes instead of rinsing to save water and the energy needed to heat the water.

8. A computer & monitor uses 2% of household energy, as do TVs, VCRs, & DVD players.
Unplug when not in use.

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