Margaret Oler with Rocky Mountain Power has important tips on more ways to make your home even more environmentally secure and financially efficient.
Energy Efficiency Tips Around the Home:
1. Pay attention to the thermostat. Keeping the temperature a few degrees higher during the summer cooling season can lower your cooling bill and you can still be comfortable. It’s a matter of personal preference but setting your thermostat to 78 degrees can help save energy. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically set the thermostat a little higher while you’re away from home during the day … then the thermostat can cool the house just before you return home.
2. Keep air conditioner filters clean. They should be cleaned or replaced once a month during the season. If you can do so safely, clean the exposed grill and spines on the outside unit.
3. Join Rocky Mountain Power’s Cool Keeper program. This program conveniently allows customers’ air conditioning compressors to be coordinated, so they are not all coming on att the same time and helping to even out the electrical demand on the neighborhood circuit. Installation of the device is free and participating customers receive a $20 credit on their fall electric bills.
4. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Compact fluorescents draw about one-quarter of the energy of an incandescent bulb and last 7-10 times longer.
5. Wash your clothes in cold water using special detergents that are specially designed for cold water loads.
6. Wash and dry full loads when possible. Always use the appropriate setting for the size of the load.
7. Many appliances continue to draw power when they are switched off but still plugged in. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Unplug the appliance or use the switch on a power strip.
8. Remember to check for the ENERGY STAR logo the next time you go appliance shopping. This seal, created by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency, helps consumers identify the most energy-efficient products on the market. ENERGY STAR-labeled appliances exceed existing federal efficiency standards and will reduce the operating cost of that appliance or product during its lifetime.
9. Refrigerators: If customers are contemplating a new refrigerator or freezer purchase, call Rocky Mountain Power to come get the old appliance. Refrigerators and freezers manufactured since 2001 are much more energy efficient than older models and can have 90 percent of the components safely and appropriately recycled. Rocky Mountain Power will pick up the appliance, verify that it is still working, recycle the components and send the customer a check for $30. This will reduce household electrical use. Many times these older appliances are found sitting in the garage or basement, consuming electricity year round, and yet the use is occasional — for the extra drinks and watermelon on the Fourth of July or goodies at thanksgiving.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER ENERGY STAR NEW HOMES PROGRAM
ENERGY STAR qulified homes have been verified by the independent third party to be at least 15 per cent more energy efficient than homes built to standard code.
Since the inception of the Rocky Mountain Power program in 2005 more than 4,000 new homes have been certified as ENERGY STAR HOMES, resulting in 7 million kWh saved and approximately $600,000 in savings for the customers of these homes.
Features of ENERGY STAR homes:
Improved (or effective) insulation
Properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls, and attics resulting in more even temperatures throughout the house, reducing energy use, and increasing comfort and it contributes to homes’ quietness
Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies such as protective coatings and improved frames, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These windows also reduce damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.
Efficient heating and cooling equipment
In addition to using less energy to operate, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home
Tight construction and duct systems
Reduces energy costs, helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen and noise and a tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility and maintenance
ENERGY STAR qualified homes may also be equipped with ENERGY STAR qualified products, such as lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans and appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines.
Raters conduct on-site teseting and inspections to verify the energy efficiency measures, as well as insulation, air tightness and duct sealing details.
Benefits including energy savings, financial savings, increased comfort, improved indoor air quality, environmental considerations such as home energy use that accounts for nearly 17 percent of the total US greenhouse gas emissions, but by purchasing an ENERGY STAR qualified new homes, homeowners can have a positive effect on the environment by reducing their energy consumption and more efficiently using the energy resources used to provide for their energy needs at home.
There are now over 60 builders within the greater Salt Lake area that are building new homes to Rocky Mountain Power ENERGY STAR specitifications
Other Rocky Mountain Power Program offerings:
Rocky Mountain Power offers several programs to help you make energy efficient upgrades to your home, including cash rebates and incentives for upgrading your appliances, such as your refrigerator; installing new HVAC equipment;updating your lighting and by offering special time of day rates.
To learn more about energy efficiency and Rocky Mountain Power programs, visit www.rockymtnpower.net