Jeff Hymas from Rocky Mountain Power shares five energy-saving tips.
Why conduct an energy-efficiency campaign?
• Energy consumption in Utah has grown a lot over the past 20 years.
• In fact, the average Utah household uses about 26 percent more electricity today than they did two decades ago.
• We have more electronic gadgets, larger and more power-hungry TVs and larger homes to cool in the summer. Even though these items use a lot of electricity, there are many ways we can each reduce our use.
• That’s why Rocky Mountain Power launched its “wattsmart” campaign in April. We’ve encouraged energy efficiency for years. But with Wattsmart, we’re doing even more to inform Utahns about how they can easily reduce their electricity use, save money and help us to manage the future cost of electricity for all customers.
Isn’t it odd for a power company to ask people to use less power?
• At first, it doesn’t seem to make sense: Why would a company want you to use less of its product?
• But the truth is: Using less electricity actually helps all of our customers save money by reducing the amount of power that Rocky Mountain Power has to purchase or produce to keep up with growing demand.
How does Rocky Mountain Power help customers use less power?
• Our wattsmart programs and incentives are focused on helping Utahns find ways to reduce their overall energy use while still enjoying the lifestyle we all love here in Utah.
• We have simple tips to help people use less – and programs that provide incentives for the purchase of new, energy-saving appliances and home improvements. We also have special programs that help us work with customers to manage energy use.
• Wattsmart programs are already making a big difference. In 2009, Wattsmart programs helped Utah residents and businesses save a total of 248 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s an energy savings equivalent to the annual generation from 47 wind turbines.
How can people start using less energy right now?
• There are a lot of ways that Utah residents and businesses can easily and quickly begin to start reducing their energy use and start saving money RIGHT NOW.
• These five tips are some of the simplest ways to get started – and they are what we’ve been communicating to people since our wattsmart launch a few months ago. Let’s go down the line and get folks started!
1. Turn off lights when you leave a room
We’ve heard this from our parents since we were kids, but it really does help reduce your energy use. Just make a point that when you’re finished using a room, turn off its lights and any electronics you might have been using in the room. That’s something we call can do.
2. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher
During the summer months, you’ll save money and use less energy by keeping your thermostat set at 78 degrees or higher. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat if your home doesn’t already have one.
3. Weatherize your home
Inspecting and replacing weather stripping and caulking in your home are a simple and inexpensive way to keep your cool air from escaping during the summer.
4. Install energy-efficient CFL light bulbs
By now we’re all pretty familiar with the compact fluorescent lightbulb. Replacing all your regular bulbs with these is an economical and easy way to reduce your energy use.
5. “Unplug the Thug” by unplugging your chargers when you’re not charging your cell phone
Most people don’t realize that chargers for cell phones and other electronic gadgets use energy even when you’re not charging your phone or music player. So, be sure to “unplug the thug” and stop wasting energy needlessly! In addition, folks should use power surge protectors for their appliances like TVs and computers – and switch the power strip off when you’re not using these items.
How can people learn more about wattsmart?
• All of our wattsmart programs and tips are detailed on our website: wattsmart.com. Facebook users can get daily wattsmart tips by becoming a fan of our wattsmart Facebook page.
• In addition, we’ll be at the Salt Lake Bees game this Friday, July 30th for a special “Green Team” game! We’ll be giving more energy-saving tips, passing out free wattsmart T-shirts and generally having a great time. So come out to the ballpark and learn how to be wattsmart!