Looking for ways to cut costs with your home’s energy usage?

Spring is here, and the heat is starting to make its comeback. Turning on your A/C unit can get you thinking about how much energy your home is really using. Take a look at the top 5 energy consumers, and ways to cut costs in your home:

#1 Air Conditioner
Your A/C works hard to keep your house cool. “To save energy and money, we recommend keeping your A/C thermostat set to 78 degrees when you are home and 82 degrees when you are away. If 78 degrees isn’t comfortable for you, just know that with every degree you raise the temperature on your thermostat you can save up to 5 percent on cooling costs. Every little bit helps!”

#2 Pool Pump

“Have a pool in your backyard? If so, your pool pump is actually the second biggest energy user in a home. To save energy, we recommend limiting your pump’s run time to six hours each day in the summer and four hours each day in the winter.”

#3 Water Heater

“Water heaters are also a big energy user because you pay to heat water and about 10 percent of the heat escapes from the tank. You can reduce this heat loss by purchasing a low-cost kit to insulate the pipes. You can cut your hot water usage by replacing old high-flow showerheads with modern low-flow showerheads and save up to $80 per year. Lowering your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees can also help you save about $10 a year.”

#4 Lighting

“Lighting is the fourth largest energy user for homeowners. Many of you are already taking steps to reduce the cost of lighting your home by swapping out older bulbs for more energy-efficient options like CFLs and LEDs.”

#5 Clothes Dryer

“The fifth largest single energy user is the clothes dryer for most customers. However, refrigerators or even televisions could be the fourth or fifth biggest user if you have more than one and they are older models. If you are considering a new refrigerator or big screen TV, make sure you look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure it will be energy efficient.”

Information from Florida Power and Light’s Blog, http://www.fplblog.com/ask-the-expert/top-5-energy-users-in-your-home/?cid=ren0415L3&acctnum=8697907536

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Conserve Energy When Decorating for the Holidays

“Sailors Encouraged to Conserve Energy and Share Energy-Saving Tips Online

By Andrea Lamartin, Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy & Environmental Readiness Division released a video podcast Nov. 23 for the 2011 holiday season.

In the podcast, Rear Adm. Phil Cullom reminds viewers that while decorative lighting is an enjoyable part of celebrating the holidays, it presents two avoidable factors that can degrade Navy readiness: the energy intensity of outdated lighting and safety issues that can result from these systems.

Cullom presents challenges in the categories of lighting, recycling, and safety. He recommends upgrading to energy efficient holiday lights by using solar lighting to decorate outdoors, employing lighting timers to reduce holiday lighting energy consumption, and using recycled materials to wrap gifts. Year round, he suggests turning off computers at the end of the work day to conserve energy. From a safety standpoint, he encourages personnel to exercise caution with space heaters and avoid overloading electrical circuits.

Cullom invites Sailors and civilians to post holiday energy-saving and safety tips from their ships and bases on the Navy’s Task Force Energy Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/NavalEnergy. This presents a great opportunity for Navy personnel to share their knowledge and hands-on experience to improve readiness, conserve energy, and safely celebrate in the holiday spirit.

The complete video message can be viewed at http://youtu.be/9rtIXx7p7Js, and a written transcript is available on the Navy’s Energy, Environment, and Climate Change website at http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/files/2011/11/NavyEnergyHolidayTranscript1.pdf.”

October is Energy Awareness Month

America has observed Energy Awareness Month since 1991.

Join the growing number of people making a difference in the way they consume energy by taking advantage of some of these great energy reducing tips:

  • Choose the most energy-efficient appliances to help reduce cost and cut your carbon footprint.
  • Switch to Compact Fluorescent Lights. CFLs can save you money in electricity costs.
  • Keep your lights clean. Dust can cut a bulb’s light output by 25%.
  • And the simplest of all tips, remember to turn out the lights when you leave a room.