We use energy every day, whether we’re at home, school, work, or play. Unfortunately, much of the energy we use is wasted due to inefficiency. Using energy wisely means we conserve energy. There are a number of simple steps we can take to conserve energy and help reduce monthly power bills. Here are a few ways to use energy more wisely this winter:

  • Turn down your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting.
  • Use blankets or quilts for sleeping comfort and to allow a lower nighttime thermostat setting.
  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (around 120o F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands. Be sure to turn off power to the unit before making adjustments.
  • Only use dishwashers, washing machines and dryers when you have a full load. Use energy-savings settings on appliances where available.
  • Open window shades to take advantage of the heat from natural sunlight. Prune trees or shrubs that block the sun from your home during the winter.
  • Survey your incandescent lights for opportunities to replace them with compact fluorescents or LEDs. These lamps can save three-quarters or more of the electricity used by incandescents. The best targets are 60 to 100-watt bulbs used several hours or more a day.
  • Properly seal the largest air leaks in your house—the ones that whistle on windy days or feel drafty. The worst culprits are usually not windows and doors, but cut-throughs for pipes (plumbing penetrations), gaps around chimneys, unfinished spaces behind cupboard and closets, etc.