Is one of your New Year resolutions to save money? CPS Energy can help you keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket this year and in future years. Unlike many new year resolutions that are hard to keep or follow through on, we have lots of quick, easy ways to help you reduce your energy usage and your bill.
Today, as we recognize National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, we want to share a few simple, free and low-cost ways to help you save money. We’ll call them the “Great 8.”
1. Take advantage of smart home devices like smart thermostats. You may think smart thermostats are costly and out of your price range; however, we’re offering a generous rebate that you can’t afford to miss out on. Through Jan. 31, you can take advantage of our Bring Your Own Thermostat (BYOT) special and receive a one-time $150 rebate on eligible thermostats. This rebate, paired with the annual $30 bill credit per household, gives you an immediate return on your investment.
2. Set your thermostat between 68 to 70 degrees on colder days, and 78 to 80 degrees on hotter days. Did you know that with a smart thermostat, you can change temperature settings from anywhere, at any time with your mobile device? Now that’s cool!
3. Check your air filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty. Dust and debris in filters slow down air flow, forcing your heating and cooling system to work harder. A clogged filter can cause the system to use 15 percent more energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Given that heating and air conditioning make up nearly half of the energy costs in a typical U.S. home, a dirty filter can significantly drive up energy usage and your bill. A clogged filter can also increase system maintenance costs. Additionally, dust and debris from a dirty filter can recirculate back into your home, causing health issues for those who have respiratory conditions.
4. Upgrade to LED bulbs. These bulbs have become increasingly inexpensive – generally less than $1.40 each – and use about 80% less than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also last more than seven times longer than a traditional bulb! The average household, which uses about 40 bulbs, can save about $280 a year simply by making this switch.
5. Use ceiling fans or portable fans to circulate air. Most ceiling fans have both “clockwise” and “counterclockwise” settings, each appropriate for a different season. There’s an easy way to determine the direction your fan should rotate: stand beneath the fan and turn it on. If you immediately feel a breeze from the fan, then it’s set on the “summer” setting, counterclockwise on most models. To change the setting, turn off the fan, safely use a step stool so you can examine the base of the fan just above the blades, and look for a small button or switch to adjust.
6. Plug into power strips; phantom load is real. Some devices such as computers and TVs can continue to consume energy even when they’re turned off. Plug devices into power strips and turn off the strip instead of turning off each device.
7. Caulk around window frames and weather-strip around door frames to reduce air leaks and air infiltration around your house. Reducing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home is a cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling costs, increase comfort and create a healthier indoor environment. Caulking and weather-stripping are two simple and effective air-sealing techniques that offer quick returns on investment, often in one year or less.
8. Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Most water heater manufacturers have the default setting at 140 degrees, so you may need to manually change it. Turning down the temperature 10 degrees Fahrenheit saves 3 to 5 percent on energy costs, so a drop from 140 to 120 degrees saves you 6 to 10 percent. Along with the energy savings, the lower setting can help prevent someone from getting scalded, and it’s still plenty hot for showering, washing clothes and washing dishes.
We also offer many programs to help you shave your energy bill, such as our Casa Verde weatherization program that’s free to qualifying customers.
You can learn more about CPS Energy’s energy-efficiency programs, as well as more tips for saving energy and money, at our communitywide events with savings opportunities for our customers and on our website, cpsenergy.com.
You have the power to save energy and money in 2019, which is certainly a lot easier to do than some of those other common resolutions made, like dropping extra pounds from the holidays or visiting the gym several times a week. CPS Energy is here to help you along the way so you’re sure to succeed!