As temperatures begin to drop, it’s the perfect time to think about saving energy.
October is National Energy Awareness Month. Indiana Michigan Power is helping customers save energy.
Energy Awareness Month, first implemented in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, encourages the government and organizations to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and managing the nation’s energy resources.
Since 2012, I&M customers have saved more than 4.7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity through I&M’s energy efficiency programs. That’s enough to power nearly 400,000 typical homes for an entire year.
I&M says saving energy doesn’t have to be difficult and can start at a customer’s home.
Below are 10 tips I&M customers can take advantage of to reduce energy use and possibly their bill:
1. Ensure heating systems are properly maintained. Customers should have their heating system inspected regularly so they can help reduce their heating costs up to 5%.
2. Find and seal leaks. Check for air leaks or gaps around walls, ceilings, windows, doors, switches and outlets. By preventing and sealing leaks customer could reduce their bill up to 20%.
3. Utilize a smart thermostat. If customers use a programmable or Wi-Fi / Smart thermostat to lower the temperature of their home by 10-degrees for eight hours every night, they could reduce heating bills by 10%.
4. Run the dishwasher only with full loads, and use the air-dry cycle. The difference in energy cost between two loads per week and four loads per week can amount to $30–$40 per year.
5. Unplug any electrical device that’s not being used. Many appliances draw power even when turned off.
6. Take showers, not baths: A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water, while filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
7. Clean the lint screen on the dryer every time you use the machine. A clogged lint screen can make a customer’s dryer use up to 30% more energy – and it can be a fire hazard.
8. Switch to LED light bulbs. These bulbs use 90% less energy than typical incandescent bulbs, and they last 25 times longer. Replacing just five bulbs can save $75 a year.
9. Replace inefficient appliances – even if they’re still working. An aging water heater or refrigerator could be costing customers much more than they think. If a customers’ central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, replacing it with a high-efficiency new unit will cut their summer electric bills by about one-third.
10. Decorate with pale colors on walls, ceilings and floors. Soft tones reflect more light, so customers can use lower wattage bulbs and delay turning on lights until later in the day. Using high-gloss paint can help as well.
I&M encourages customers to pick a few tips and incorporate them into their daily routine. They can start saving energy right away, potentially reducing their monthly bill and helping the environment. For more tips on saving energy at home and at work please visit www.electricideas.com.