EnergyWise Tip: Earth Day

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. household will spend over $2,100 on home energy this year. As we approach Earth Day (April 22), it is a good time to remember that energy efficiency can help “green” the planet while keeping more “green” in our wallet.

“Consumers who experienced high winter heating bills and are already contending with spiraling gasoline prices are eager to spend less on home energy this spring and summer,” said Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), “Energy efficiency not only significantly cuts home energy costs, it also increases indoor comfort.”

Here are 10 simple, yet effective ways the ASE suggests to celebrate Earth Day by saving energy in your home:

  • Seal air leaks and properly insulate – These are always the first steps for reducing energy waste, saving up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills and increasing home comfort.
  • Turn off all lights, appliances and electronics not in use. (Sometimes the simplest things are really effective!)
  • Use your windows shades – Close blinds on the sunny side in summer and open them in winter. During the winter, close them all at night.
  • A programmable thermostat, properly programmed, can save up to 10 percent on cooling and heating costs.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR© label, the symbol of quality and energy efficiency, on a wide range of consumer products to save up to 30 percent on related electricity bills.
  • New & improved light bulbs – Reduce energy use from about a third to as much as 80 percent with today’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents and LEDs.
  • Clean or change furnace filters regularly. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system run longer to keep you warm or cool.
  • Reduce water heater temperature to 125° F to save energy and money on heating water.
  • Wash clothes in cold water to save $63 a year.
  • Use low-flow faucets and shower heads to save on water bills, too.

For more great ideas on how to make your home or business EnergyWiseSM, contact your local utility or visit