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Keep More of Your Hard Earned Dollars

To make your home more energy efficient you must determine where you are using the most energy. In the average home, energy is used in the following way:
  • space heating, 49%
  • appliances and lighting, 23%
  • water heating, 16%
  • air conditioning, 16%
  • refrigerator, 5%

Quick Tips to Save Energy

Interested in saving energy but not sure where to start? Try this list of ten bright ideas for saving and conserving energy. Even small changes can make a big difference.

Replace Your Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) are 70% more efficient then incandescent bulbs and at about $2 a piece the payback is a few months. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are roughly 75% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and although a slightly higher cost, make up for it in savings. To see how much you can save check out our lighting calculator. Don't forget to check our our lighting rebate!

Insulate Your Attic

Attics can be great sources of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Payback will vary depending on your region, but you'll usually recover the cost within two years. For more information on insulating your attic click here.

Weatherization

Weatherizing your home means sealing where air can infiltrate such as doors, windows and places where pipes enter the home. The cost of this varies depending on the age and construction of you home. This is where your local Touchstone Energy cooperative can be a great help. See the videos on Touchstone TV for energy saving tips. Find out if a local Community Action Program can help you by visiting our page on weatherization.

Programmable Thermostats

The average home will spend over $1,000 a year on heating and cooling. Programmable thermostats adjust the temperature in winter and in summer as well as during unoccupied hours. At a cost of $50 - $150 the payback can be seen in well under a year.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Your heating and cooling system equipment runs best when properly maintained. Change your filters on a regular basis. Having your HVAC system serviced on an annual basis will ensure that your system is not costing you more then it should, as well as increasing the life of the system. Using a NATE certified technician is recommended.

Unplug

Check around the house to see if devices are unnecessarily plugged in. Cell phones, iPod chargers and appliances are still drawing power when not in use. Be aware that plasma TVs and entertainment systems are drawing power even when they are off. Also switching computers off or using the computer’s power management settings to allow standby mode when it’s not needed. A computer can use as much electricity as a new refrigerator.

Conduct Your Own Energy Audit

It is important to perform a do-it-yourself energy audit and determine where you can reduce the amount of energy wasted in your home. Begin by checking insulation levels in your exterior walls, attic and crawl space. In North Carolina, it is recommended to have R-30 in your ceilings, R-16 in exterior walls and R-19 in the floors. You can visit energysavers.gov for more information on how to measure insulation levels. For more information about home energy audits, visit our energy audit page. You can complete an online home energy check and determine where you are using energy in your home and recommendations of how to save energy and money.

Replace Your Single Pane Windows

Upgrading to more energy efficient windows can help control temperature and air infiltration in your home. This is probably one of the more costly upgrades you can do but depending on the age of your windows and climate, the payback may be just a few years. For more information click here.

Contact Your Local Touchstone Energy Electric Cooperative.

Your Electric Cooperative offers energy audits and rebates on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. For rebates visit our energy efficient rebates page, visit our residential page for more information on our programs and services.

Appliance Replacement

When replacing appliances, select energy efficient models. Look for the Energy Star label. This label designates appliances that have passed stringent energy-efficiency standards set by the federal government. This information taken from Energy Savers: Tips On Saving Energy & Money At Home. For information on how much your appliances cost to run and energy saving tips, visit our appliance calculator.

South River EMC has a host of online calculators to help you determine how much energy you use and how much money you can save by keeping energy efficiency top of mind.