Energy Saving Tips

Common reasons for a high bill

Electric bills can jump significantly without warning when an unforeseen problem or event happens. The following list describes some of the reasons that members have had higher than normal bills:

  • Christmas Lights
  • Stock tank or engine block heaters (can use more than $1.00 of energy per day)
  • Pump house heater left on in summer
  • Heated driveway left on in warm weather
  • Hot water heater element burned
  • Bad pressure tank in well house
  • Broken hot water pipe under house
  • Space heater or baseboard left on at summer cabin
  • Forced air furnace duct work disconnected under house
  • Toilet plumbed with hot water rather than cold
  • Contractors using large space heaters during construction or remodeling
  • Heat tape left plugged in after winter
  • Winterized home but did not shut off main breaker
  • Extremely cold weather with thermostats set at lowest level

25 energy saving tips

  1. Lower your thermostat at night and when you’re not home. Use a programmable thermostat so it’s automatic. Every degree lower can take 2 percent off your power bill.
  2. Make it a habit to shut off lights, computers and other appliances when you’re not using them.
  3. Switch to LED bulbs. They use a fourth of the energy used by traditional bulbs.
  4. Replace halogen lamps in torchieres with LED torchieres. They use less energy and produce more light.
  5. Use motion detectors to turn on outdoor lights rather than leaving them on all night.
  6. Close your fireplace damper when there’s no fire. Leaving it open is like having a 48-inch-square hole in your house.
  7. Close off and don’t heat unoccupied rooms.
  8. Take showers with low-flow showerheads (they use 50 percent less hot water) instead of baths.
  9. Set your water heater at 115 degrees (F), which is comfortable for most uses. Turn your water heater off when you go on vacation.
  10. Wrap your water heater in R11 insulated wrap but don’t cover the thermostat.
  11. Run only full loads in your dishwasher and clothes washers and wash in warm or cold water.
  12. Wash and dry clothes on weekends when energy use isn’t as high.
  13. Air dry your dishes. In nicer weather or in a warm basement, air dry your clothes.
  14. Clean your furnace and heat pump filters to keep them operating efficiently.
  15. Limit use of kitchen and bathroom fans since they pull heat out of the house.
  16. Open south-facing drapes and blinds during the day to let heat in. Cover all windows at night in winter.
  17. Weather strip around your doors and windows and anywhere you feel a draft.
  18. Set your refrigerator between 37 and 40 degrees F.
  19. Keep your refrigerator well stocked. It takes more energy to cool an empty fridge.
  20. Clean lint out of refrigerator coils and out of dryers.
  21. Use a microwave or toaster oven for cooking and heating small portions.
  22. Check ceilings and crawl spaces to ensure there’s adequate insulation.
  23. Seal or fix broken basement windows.
  24. Fix broken ducts and replace cracked or peeling tape on ducts. Use tape with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) logo.
  25. For long-term savings, choose and use energy-efficient appliances. Compare energy rating labels before you buy.

Together We Save

Together We Save is a national energy efficiency program launched by our sister cooperative Touchstone Energy. By visiting the Together We Save website, you will find:

  • Interactive home tour customized with our rates with money saving tips
  • Videos on energy saving projects you can do
  • Forum to contact experts about specific projects

Please let us know if you find this resource helpful.