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Energy Tips for Winter

Want to reign in your electric costs this winter? Try these energy-saving ideas:

  • When not in use, turn off the juice. Long winter nights mean household lights are used more often. Remember to turn off lights when you leave a room or purchase occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights off when the room is left empty for a period of time.
  • Shop smart. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 75 percent of the electricity used by home electronic equipment is consumed when the products are turned off. This energy is used to maintain the clock, remote control and channel memory. ENERGY STAR labeled home electronics use half as much standby energy, without sacrificing features.
  • Timing is everything. Install programmable timers on winter energy users such as outdoor holiday lighting and engine heaters.
  • Set it and forget it. Programmable thermostats generally pay for themselves during the first season of use. In fact, automatically setting your thermostat back 8 to 10 degrees for eight hours each day can reduce your heating/cooling costs by as much as 10 percent.
  • Mom was right, make your bed. Did you know that one home in six has a heated waterbed? A typical waterbed costs $10 a month to heat if its made up each day with heavy covers that hold in the heat. If left uncovered, the heating costs can double.