The annual energy bill for a typical single family home is approximately $2,200.Room Heating and Cooling:
Almost 50% of the energy used in your home goes toward room heating and cooling (Source: U.S. Energy Information Admin., Residential Energy Consumption Survey).
Change your air filter regularly (every 3 months) and tune up and maintain your furnace yearly.
Thermostat - A programmable thermostat can save money if you forget to change the settings when you are asleep or away. Turning the thermostat down 1˚ will save 5% on your heating bill.
Avoid heating rooms you don’t use by closing down heat vents or individual room thermostats.
Seal your heating and cooling ducts - Improve efficiency by as much as 20%, or more.
Seal drafts - Caulk around windows and weather strip around doors and save up to 10% on your energy bill. Put foam gaskets under switch plates. Make old single pane windows more efficient by installing storm windows or insulating with quilted or honeycomb shades (best) or thermal drapes (good) that prevent air circulation behind them. Clear film window sealing kits are also effective for winter.
Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans save money and energy in both summer and winter. In the summer fanned air can make you feel 8˚ cooler, in the winter fans help circulate warm air that tends to rise. Ensure that the fan blows down during summer and up during the winter (switch on side reversed direction).
Insulation: Insulate the attic first since 1/3 of the heat lost is through the roof.
Evaporative (swamp) coolers use 75% less electricity than a refrigerated air conditioner. Water Heating:
The average household spends $200-$400 per year on water heating.
When buying a new water heater, ensure that it is energy efficient and meets the requirements needed to get a rebate from your utility.
Turn down your water heater - A 10° F reduction in temperature saves about 13% of your water heating costs. For an average family this amounts to savings of $30 if you heat water with gas or $60 with electricity.
Insulate your water heater and the water lines - Save $20 annually (gas hot water) or $50 (electric). This may also prevent frozen water lines.
Fix drippy faucets - A faucet that leaks one drip per second can waste 400 gallons of water a year. If the water is hot, that 400 gallons will cost you about $8 (electric water heater) or $4 (gas heater) plus the cost of water itself.
Upgrade your showerhead - Replacing older showerheads with low flow units could save a family of four as much as 15,000 gallons of water per year, reducing water heating costs by over $150 (electric hot water) and $60 (gas).
Take showers instead of filling a bath and save about 50% of the energy.Appliances:
Clothes Washer - Washing in cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually (electric water heater) and more than $30 (gas water heater). Washing full loads saves more than 3,400 gal of water/yr.
Front-loading or new high efficiency top load washers - Reduce energy use by over 50%, use significantly less water, require less detergent and shorter drying cycles, and reduce wear and tear on clothes.
Clothes Drying - Don't overload the dryer, don’t over-dry, and clean the lint filter after every load. Better yet, take advantage of the free, environmentally friendly energy from the sun and use a clothesline. Keep your house cooler by not using the dryer. Save up to $200 a year on your utility bills. Clothes don’t wear out as fast, smell naturally fresher when air-dried and have less static. Don’t have any place outside for a clothesline? Get a folding drying rack and dry clothes indoors where the extra humidity will make your house cooler and more comfortable.
Refrigerators - Keep your refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit Keep refrigerators in a cool spot - a 5˚ difference in air temperature can have a 20% impact on the energy consumption of your refrigerator.
Replace old refrigerators - A new refrigerator uses 1/3 of the energy, which could mean savings of over $150/yr.
Turn lights off when you leave the room – The simplest way to save money and energy.
CFLs and LEDs - Switch your old incandescent bulbs to CFLs or LED. CFLs last 10 times longer and use 75% less energy, LEDs are even more efficient. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save $70 a year in energy costs.
Up to 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance. Put computers in hibernation mode or power them off. TV’s, DVD players, and stereo equipment can be put on a power strip and turned off, or check the set-up menu for an energy saving mode.
Kill-A-Watt: This easy-to-use meter can calculate the actual cost to run different devices like your TV, gaming systems and more. The Silver City library has several meters available for check out so you can learn how different electric devices in your home use energy, and which devices cost you the most to operate.Find out how to check one out from the Public Library!
Standby Power Use - A typical home has 40 products continuously drawing power, such as those that use remote control, continuous display (including an LED), or have battery charging capabilities. U.S. households spent approximately $100 per year to power devices while they are in a low power mode. Putting these on a power strip and turning it off can save between 6 and 26% in electricity costs.
Some are impractical to turn off because internal clocks and memory functions need to be reset when the appliance is turned back on, e.g., microwave ovens, gas stoves with electronic ignition and DVD players, coffee pots, etc.
Televisions: Instant On mode uses the most energy but standby mode or energy saving mode also uses power. By plugging your TV into a power switch you can turn it off completely when not in use.
DVD players, gaming systems, stereo systems, home office equipment (e.g. fax, printer, scanner, etc) also have a very high standby consumption. Switch them off except when needed. Mobile phone chargers are often left plugged in and use electricity when not charging. Unplug when not in use.
Energy Star Rating - When you replace any electrically powered appliance, light bulb, heating or cooling system, or electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.
Rebates may be available! - Both PNM and NM Gas have rebates for many of these upgrades: