• Don't leave your electric water heater switched on permanently. Buy a timer and for as little as two hours use a day you will have sufficient hot water for your general needs.

  • Reduce the water heater thermostat setting to 120º F and choose 'low temperature' cycles when washing clothes.

  • The refrigerator is one of the biggest electricity consumers in the average home. Do not open and close it more than really necessary, and make sure the door seals are working properly. Otherwise you can expect your electricity consumption to be high.

  • Ensure the water level in your electric kettle always covers the element. By trying to save a few seconds, you only reduce the life of the element.

  • It makes no sense to turn your freezer off to save electricity. You will more probably use more electricity and may even spoil your frozen foods. Instead turn the freezer setting down.

  • Don't turn fluorescent lights on and off too frequently You will soon need a new bulb. Fluorescent lights are very efficient and do not consume much electricity.

  • At $0.95/kWh, you could save $3.63 a month for each 100-watt bulb that you replace by a 40-watt one (assuming it operates three hours a day for five days a week). But of course, the light won't be as bright, so this only makes sense for hallways, room lights etc. Even better, consider using compact fluorescent lights - these use only 20% of the energy of a normal incandescent light for the same brightness, and last several times longer.

  • Consider window fans, ceiling fans or whole-house fans (which use much less power) as an alternative to air conditioners. Shut off your air conditioner if you leave home for an extended period of time.

  • Close your blinds, shades or draperies during the hottest part of the day.

  • Heat or cool only the rooms you are using. Close off unused rooms.

  • Air conditioners work to remove humidity, so schedule moisture-making jobs such as dishwashing laundry and bathing for either early morning or at night when it’s cooler.

  • Shade the outdoor air conditioning unit if possible. A unit in the sun will use up to 5% more energy than one in the shade.

  • Clean or replace the air-conditioning filter monthly.

  • Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use: lights, TVs, computers, microwaves, CD players, etc. "Standby power" usage can account for up to 30 percent of your home electronics energy. Be sure to check the owner's manual to make sure this won't impact the memory or performance of the machine.

  • When buying new appliances, look at the yellow Energy Guide label and buy only energy-efficient appliances.

  • Activate "sleep" features on computers and office equipment that power down while on, but not in use for awhile. Turn them off altogether during long periods of non-use to cut utility costs and extend longevity.

MUL Side Note