Energy Saving Tips for Your Home
In addition to a low fixed rate on your natural gas and electricity, you can also reduce your home energy costs with these simple ways to save and conserve energy throughout your house.
- When purchasing new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. Traditional appliances can use twice as much energy.
- Install high efficiency CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs. They use 75% less energy and last six times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Place weather stripping around your doors and windows to stop energy-wasting air leaks around your home.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control your natural gas and electric energy costs by managing your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
- Clean or replace filters for your furnace or air-conditioner regularly.
- Keep any vents or registers clear of any furniture or carpeting to keep air pathways open.
- Use the “stand by” or “sleep” mode on computers and printers to save approximately 80% of energy used.
- Unplug recharging adapters for laptops and cell phones as soon as they’re fully charged to reduce electric energy usage.
- Install water efficient faucets and shower heads to reduce the amount of water you use.
Stay Safe with Your Energy
Electricity and natural gas are safe and reliable forms of energy when used properly. However, they can be dangerous if approached without caution, care, or in cases of emergency situations.
- Replace outdoor light bulbs as soon as they burn out. A brighter home makes for a safer environment.
- Do not overload electrical sockets or extension cords. Connecting too many appliances to one outlet can overheat the wires and result in fire.
- Keep all electrical appliances away from water in sinks, tubs, or swimming pools.
- Never plug anything into an electrical outlet if your hands are wet.
- Do not blow out the pilot light in your oven or range. The gas will continue to flow and create a dangerous situation that could result in an explosion.
- Always keep an “emergency kit” in case of a power outage. The kit should include a battery-powered radio, flashlights with a supply of extra batteries, candles, and extra blankets. Make sure everyone in the family knows where the emergency kit is kept.
- If you must move a gas stove or dryer for repair or cleaning, be extremely careful as you could crack or mis-align the gas connection.
- Keep space heaters in an area where they will not be knocked over and keep them away from flammable materials like furniture or curtains.
- If a wire falls on or comes in contact with a car that you are in, do not get out or attempt to move it. The car’s rubber tires will provide insulation to protect you until help arrives.
- Be extremely careful when using metal ladders. Be sure to position them to minimize the chance they can fall on or come in contact with electrical wires.
- Contact your local utility company before doing any digging on your property. There may be dangerous electrical wires or gas lines underground.
- Be extremely careful when removing trees and tree limbs on your property. If power lines are involved, call a professional tree service or your local utility.
- Always shut off the power at the fuse box in your home when making any electrical repairs.
- If you choose to hang holiday lights inside or outside your house, be sure not to overload outlets or extension cords. Only use extension cords made for outdoor use when hanging lights outside
- If you think you smell gas, call your utility company IMMEDIATELY. Do not attempt to find or fix the leak yourself.
- If electric wires fall to the ground near your home, do not touch or go near them. Call your utility company IMMEDIATELY.
Energy Tips for Kids
Kids are naturally curious, but their explorations can put them at risk. That’s why it is important to educate them about how to be safe with the energy around them.
- Teach kids to recognize the smell of natural gas and to report it to an adult if they smell it.
- Don’t let children play near high voltage towers, wires, or transformers.
- Be careful when climbing trees; there may be a live power line hidden among the branches.
- Teach children to stay far away from any downed power lines they may come across.
- Show them what a “Danger: High Voltage” sign looks like and tell them what it means.
- Make sure they understand to steer clear of areas marked with these warning signs.
- Explain to your kids why they need to keep all electrical appliances away from bathtubs, sinks and swimming pools, and don’t let them touch anything electrical with wet hands.
If you have very young children, place plastic outlet covers in all electrical outlets within their reach. Electric shocks can be harmful and even fatal — especially to a toddler or small child.Read less