One of the first places to save money is by becoming more energy efficient. Below is a list of helpful tips, but we also recommend visiting the TVA website to learn more.
No Cost Tips
- Adjust the thermostat. Adjust up in the summer and shut off when not in use. Even a few degrees can significantly reduce air conditioning costs. In the summer, set your air conditioner to 78 degrees or higher. Changing the A/C thermostat from 72 to 78 degrees can save up to 12% of your cooling costs.
- Block direct sunlight in the summer. Close window coverings, or shade exposed windows with solar shade screens, reflective films, awnings or trees.
- Power down. Turn off or set office equipment to power down when not in use. Turning off one computer and monitor nightly and on weekends can save up to $80 a year. Setting PCs, monitors and copiers to use sleep mode when not in use can help cut energy costs by up to 50 percent. Use power strips or unplug electronics such as DVRs, game consoles and TVs that draw power even when switched off.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater. 120° F is sufficient for most common uses. A 10° F reduction can save up to five percent on water heating costs. This only affects gas usage, unless your water heater is electric.
- Switching from A/C to fans. If you can comfortably do so it makes a big difference. Using a portable or ceiling fan to circulate air in one room can cost about 4 cents per hour. Cooling your entire house with central A/C can cost about $1 to $2 per hour.
- Freshen A/C filters regularly. Clean or replace the filter in your central A/C to help it run more efficiently.
- Weatherstrip and caulk drafty doors and windows to keep conditioned air in and save up to 5% on cooling costs.
- Use LEDs. Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs (light emitting diodes), which provide the same amount of light, use up to 75 percent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer.
- Filter your swimming pool for less when you switch to an energy-efficient, variable-speed pool pump.
- Use a pool or spa cover. Covers can reduce heat loss by up to 90%.
- Install occupancy sensors. These inexpensive devices can reduce lighting costs by up to 40 percent.
- Install programmable thermostats or time clocks to automatically control temperature settings on heating and air conditioning equipment.
- Invest in energy-efficient equipment. Always look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol, which indicates it meets federal standards for energy efficiency.