Energy Efficiency Tips during COVID-19

Sat, 03/28/2020

Save Energy Save Money

Greenwell Springs, LA – As a result of COVID-19 many Americans are adjusting to a new normal – and that includes being home a lot more than before. There are lots of energy-efficiency tips that can help lower monthly electric bills without jeopardizing safety or comfort.

“Being home 24/7 - and being mindful of the energy you use - will help you take control of your energy bill,” says David Latona, Vice President of Marketing and Member Services. “It’s easy to use energy without realizing you’re using energy, so it’s important for our members to have information to help them use less energy so their bill remains low.”

Energy efficiency tips can be implemented by anyone and everyone. Without actually tracking your power use, you can bet that the three appliances likely guzzling the most energy in your home are your air conditioner, water heater, and refrigeration.

“At a time when so much seems outside of our control, it’s nice to have some power over something,” Latona says. “We want our members to have this information today, so they can make changes immediately that will help keep their bill down.”

Use Energy Guzzlers Efficiently
To reduce your power consumption and lower your electric bill use your air conditioner, water heater and refrigerator/freezer efficiently - simply cleaning filters and setting temperatures can make a difference. Set your air conditioning to a couple degrees higher in the summer - and a couple degrees lower in the winter - and potentially save up to 3% off your energy bill. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees; and set your refrigerator to maintain a temperature of 37 to 40 F to work at peak efficiency and minimize energy costs. Freezers should be at 5 degrees and stand-alone freezers for long-storage can be set at 0 degrees.

  • Additional tips to lower your energy use and lower your bill include Cooking, General Electricity and Laundry tips. Grilling outdoors is a great way to save energy and eliminate unwanted heat from cooking indoors. When cooking on the stove, use pot lids to help food cook faster and to keep the heat in. If you are heating water on the stove, use hot tap water instead of cold. Also try using a slow-cooker instead of simmering foods on the stove or use microwave for cooking when possible.
  • Replace old incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, especially if you have them on for more than one hour per day – LED lights use less energy to give you the light you’re used to! When you’re not using electronics and gaming consoles – and if you don’t unplug them - use the energy-saving modes, powerdown and automatic sleep functions. Turn off computers, monitors and large screen tvs when not in use. Reduce the brightness on computer monitors and set the power saving sleep mode on all devices. Unplug battery chargers when not needed.
  • Only run full laundry loads and minimize clothes drying time by using an auto moisture sensor, if available. Wash clothes in cold water and use hot water only for very dirty loads. Be sure to clean the lint trap before each load and – check that the dryer vent hose is tightly connected to the inside wall fitting and that the exterior vent is clear. Also avoid running the dryer during the heat of the day and dry consecutive loads to harvest heat remaining in dryer from the last load. Use cold-water rinse when washing clothes and if you must do smaller wash loads, adjust the water level in the washing machine to match the load size, especially when using hot water. You could also consider using a “solarpowered” clothes dryer – the good old-fashioned clothesline!

Energy savings associated with recommended energy tips:

  • Program your thermostat to maximize energy savings. Setting your thermostat one degree lower when heating or one degree higher when cooling can reduce energy use by up to 5 percent.
  • Do full loads of laundry and wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half and using cold water will save even more.
  • Air dry dishes. This step can cut your dishwasher's energy use by up to 50 percent.
  • Substitute LEDs for conventional light bulbs. Lighting can amount to up to 12% of monthly energy use. LED bulbs can cut lighting costs by 75%.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use. When powered on, game consoles, televisions and similar electronics are responsible for up to 12 percent of energy use.

“What you use is what you pay for,” Latona reiterates. “If you pay attention to the little things, the money you save could add up in a big way.”

For more information on energy saving tips visit DEMCO.org.