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Energy Efficiency Tips


General Tips

Reduce energy waste
Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Unplug that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don't truly need it - this seemingly convenient way to keep extra drinks cold can add 10-25% to your electric bill. Turn off kitchen and bath ventilating fans after they've done their job. As long as they are on they are exhausting heated air and that air is being replaced by cold outside air. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning to prevent your heated air from going up the chimney.

Use appliances efficiently
Do only full loads when using your dishwasher and clothes washer. Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer when you can. Using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75%. Be sure to clean your clothes dryer's lint trap after each use. Use the moisture-sensing automatic drying setting on your dryer.

Put your computer and monitor to sleep
Most computers come with the power management features turned off. On computers using Windows, open the Power Options under the Control Panel and set it so your computer goes to sleep if you're away from your machine for 5 to 15 minutes. Those who use Mac computers should look for the setting in your Control Panel called "Energy Saver" and set it accordingly. When you're done using your computer, turn it off, do not leave it in sleep mode overnight as it is still drawing a small amount of power.

Winter Energy Tips

In the cooler winter months it gets dark early, and we tend to stay indoors and use our lights and some appliances more than in the summer. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions of ways to keep your home warm and your bills low during the winter season.

Heat Pumps

  • Turn down your thermostat. Wear warm clothing and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you can save approximately 5% on heating costs. Set the thermostat back five degrees at night or when leaving home for an extended time.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Select a model designed for heat pumps. Setback thermostats can save up to 15% on energy costs.
  • Replace or clean air filters once a month. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.

Weatherization

  • Plug your home's leaks. Install weather-stripping and/or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers. You will save money and be more comfortable.
  • Increase ceiling insulation. If your ceiling is uninsulated or inadequately insulated, consider increasing your insulation to R-38 to reduce heating costs. Remember, heat rises and ceiling insulation is typically the most cost effective measure you can take.
  • High Performance Windows.  Consider installing high performance dual pane windows to replace old inefficient leaky windows.
  • Seal ducts. Leaking ductwork can dramatically increase costs in the summer and winter. If you think your ducts may be leaking because of poor airflow or lack of heating and cooling in parts of your home, consider hiring a contractor to test the tightness of your ducts and repair leaks and restrictions in your ductwork.
  • Test for air leaks by holding a lit incense stick next to windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may be need caulking, sealing or weather stripping.
  • Seal your home's envelope - walls, floor, ceiling and roof - to save up to 10 percent on your annual energy bill:
    • Add weather stripping around windows and doors to reduce drafts.
    • Use caulking to seal around ducts, plumbing and any other openings in walls, floors and ceiling to reduce air leakage. Begin in the attic, a common place for warm air to escape.
    • Seal larger gaps that cannot be covered with caulk with expanding foam.
  • After air sealing, determine the current level of insulation. In the attic, measure the depth of existing insulation using a ruler. If there is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or six inches of cellulose) you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes should have between R-22 and R-49 insulation in the attic. Insulating ceilings, walls, attics, floors, crawl spaces and basements to recommended standards can reduce heating and cooling costs by 5 percent to 25 percent.

Replacing Lights, Electronics and Appliances

  • Choose ENERGY STAR® appliances and electronics. When buying new appliances, choose ENERGY STAR certified models. For example, a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator uses about 20% less energy than a standard new refrigerators, and 46% less than one made in 1980. A new ENERGY STAR clothes washer uses nearly 50% less energy than a standard washer. Roseville Electric provides rebates on certain ENERGY STAR appliances.
  • Incandescent Light Bulbs. Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs, especially in high use light fixtures. Compact fluorescent lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights.
  • Use an automatic timer to help you avoid leaving the holiday lights on all night or during the daylight hours. Make sure that the timer is rated to handle the total wattage of the lights.
  • Consider using LED holiday lights to replace your incandescent holiday lights. LED holiday lights use significantly less energy, operate at much cooler temperatures (reducing fire risk) and last for up to 50,000 hours.

Other Things You Can Do

  • Let in the Sun. On cold clear days, open blinds and drapes to allow sunlight to provide free heat for your home.
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use. Closing the damper prevents up to 8 percent of furnace-heated air from going up the chimney.
  • Install fireplace inserts or wood stoves into existing fireplaces. The inserts are equipped with glass or metal doors, outside combustion air vents and heat circulation blowers. Fireplace inserts dramatically improve fireplace efficiency by blowing heat from the fire into the room and limiting the amount of heat and conditioned air lost up the chimney. Fireplace inserts are recommended for fireplaces that are regularly used. Before installing a fireplace insert, be sure to check the manufacturer's safety specifications to make sure the insert is compatible with the existing chimney or vent flue.

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Summer Energy Tips

As summer temperatures sizzle, increased demand for electricity can overtax the Sacramento Valley's electric supply grid. By following these summertime hot weather tips, you can help Roseville Electric and the neighboring electric utilities prevent regional and state-wide power supply problems. And, whenever you save energy, the environment benefits and your summer energy bills are reduced.

Air Conditioners

  • Set your thermostat to at least 78°, 84° on the very hottest days (over 100°); use room fans to increase comfort
  • Replace or clean filters monthly and shade the air conditioning condenser; this will increase its efficiency, but be careful not to restrict the free flow of air to the unit

Air Infiltration

  • Replace weather stripping and caulking, if needed
  • Plug leaks in attics, basements, and fireplaces to keep cool air in and warm air out

Appliances

  • Clean the coils of your refrigerator and freezer
  • Use your dishwasher, clothes dryer, and other heat producing appliances in the morning or after 8 p.m. - not during the hottest part of the day

Shading

  • Plant deciduous shrubs and trees to shade your house; Roseville Electric's Shade Tree Program will provide you with a free tree
  • Keep drapes, blinds, and shades closed to keep the sun's warming rays out of your home

Swimming Pools

  • Set filtering and sweeping equipment timers to avoid use from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Reduce filtering and sweeping to lowest effective time period, approximately 5-6 hours for filtering and 2 hours for sweeping, or check operating manual
  • Keep filtering and sweeping equipment clean and lubricated

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Quicklinks
Summer Tips
Winter Tips
Home Energy Analyzer
Home Appliance Worksheet [PDF]

For more information, call:
79-POWER
[(916) 797-6937]

Additional Resources
U.S. DOE Energy Savers
Energy Quest
ENERGY STAR Program
CA Energy Commission Tips

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