Efficiency Tips and Tools
The less energy you waste, the more you have for life.
Simple fixes – some no-cost, many low-cost – can save you 20–30% percent on your energy bill.
That’s $1 a day more in your wallet or $3.2 billion in annual savings for all Texas households1. Given that Texans spend 56 percent more each year for electricity than the national residential average, that’s truly powerful smart!
Be energy-smart this season
with these money-saving tips:
In addition to the loose change in your couch, use these tips around the rest of your house and look for the savings to add up. It’s like found money!
- The Lone Star State sees sunshine 200 to 300 days a year. That’s why you need sun block for your house. Close your drapes, blinds or shutters on south- and west-facing windows to beat the heat this summer.
- Turn on the exhaust fans when using the bath or laundry. Your AC won’t have to work as hard or run as long to remove the added humidity. For added savings, only run the dryer late at night or early in the morning when outside temperatures are lower.
- Save on your gym fee this spring and summer. Forget the blower; sweep up those grass clippings to burn calories and save energy costs. Have kids? Turn off the TV and take them outside to play. That’s a good energy to burn.
- Are you cooling an empty house? If you’ve invested already in a programmable thermostat, it can’t help you save money unless you set it. Program your thermostat for 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees when you are not. Set it, forget it and save.
- The only energy you use to hang clothes out on the line to dry is yours. Use free solar power to line dry heavy items like jeans and towels, then toss them in the dryer for just a few minutes to soften them.
- Feeling pain at the pump? The best tool to improve fuel economy costs just a few bucks. Don’t laugh — it’s a tire gauge. But it works only if you use it. Keep your tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage by up to 3 percent.
- It’s cheaper to have your AC system checked annually than to pay for an emergency repair. Ask your technician to also check for leaky ducts; you may be blowing cooled air into the attic. And replace those dirty filters regularly to improve air flow and efficiency.
- Don’t like those twisty CFL bulbs? New LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs last 10 times longer, are mercury-free and do not cause heat build-up. Available in cool or warm light and in multiple sizes and styles, LEDs have a higher upfront cost but use less energy.
Invest to Save
- Is your fridge losing its cool? Look for ENERGY STAR® appliances and compare features. A top or bottom freezer lets less chilled air out than a side-by-side. And a front-load washer cuts water and energy use by more than half when compared to a top-load.
- Is you AC blowing hot air? It may be time to replace it. A higher SEER rating means higher AC efficiency. The minimum for ENERGYSTAR is 14.
Take advantage of the sales tax holiday on certain ENERGY STAR purchases May 28-30, 2011.
More Energy-Saving Tools:
Tip of the Day
Footnote 1: Calculation of annual savings for all Texas households based on $1 per day savings annualized to 365 days multiplied by 2008 census state pop/average people per household. 2008 census state population was 24,326,974. Average people per household was 2.74. 24,326,974 divided by 2.74 equals 8,878,458 Texas households. 8,878,458 multiplied by 365 equals $3,240,637,170.
Data source: U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts - Texas