Energy Saving Tips
Saving energy and money is more important than ever. Here at Groton Utilities we do not want you to have to pay any more than you have to. Heating your home during cold weather months makes up a substantial part of your utility bill. Check out our energy saving tips below and save yourself some cash.
In addition to the tips below the following sites offer a multitude of energy saving tactics:
Additionally, Energy Star offers a free online tool called Home Energy Yardstick to assess your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes.
- Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls. Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
- Replace or clean heating, ventilating and air-conditioning filters once a month or at the beginning of the heating and cooling seasons. Dirty filters can cause equipment to work less efficiently or burnout.
- The Environmental Protection Agency advises keeping the temperature at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. If you are cold at night, throw on a sweater or blanket instead of cranking up the heat.
- Install a programmable or smart thermostat that can be programmed to temperatures according to your schedule. Never touch your thermostat again and have your home be warm when get home from work while ensuring that you are not wasting money by heating your home when you aren't there.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic, including the attic trap or access door, which is relatively easy. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. If it is less than R-30 (11 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more.
- Consider purchasing and installing a ductless mini-split system. The average ductless system consumes 40% less energy than a window air conditioner and 25 to 40% less energy than electric baseboard heating systems.
- Water heating accounts for about 18% of your home's energy use. Reducing your hot water use, employing energy-saving strategies, and choosing an energy efficient water heater for your home pool can help you reduce your monthly water heating bills.
- Adjust the temperature of your hot water heater to a lower setting (120°F). You'll save energy and avoid scalding your hands.
- Install an insulation blanket around your hot water heater. It will pay for itself in no time by making your water heater more efficient.
- When doing laundry using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. Cold water detergents can be helpful to ensure items get clean, and high-efficiency detergents (indicated by the "he" symbol) should be used when required by the manufacturer.
- Clothes dryers use more energy than any appliance in most houses. Dry right-sized loads for your clothes dryer. If the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothes to dry. Loads that are too small can also take longer to dry, plus you spend more per item when running the dryer to only dry a few things. Also, hang laundry outside or on a drying rack to avoid using the dryer altogether.
- Check your dryer vent on the outside of your house to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
- When drying clothes wool or rubber dryer balls will help separate your clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time. They can also reduce static so you don't need dryer sheets. The wool balls are said to absorb some moisture, further cutting drying time.
- Some appliances continue to draw power when plugged in, even if they're not being actively used. Examples include some phone chargers, printers, DVD players and computers. This stealthy demand is called "phantom power" or "vampire power," and it can account for up to 10% of power use in some homes.Smart power strips will automatically shut down power to devices that go into standby mode, then restore electricity when the devices are switched on. Smart power strips save energy, and are much more convenient than unplugging the appliances by hand.
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, computer monitors and computers/laptops should be turned off if not used for more than 20 minutes. Also, all equipment should be plugged into power strips/surge protectors and turned off with prolonged non-use.
- An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $45 each year.
- Lighting costs the typical household between $75 and $200 per year in electricity each year. Making the switch to energy-efficient lighting is one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to cut your home's energy use.
- Replace your old holiday lights with LED light strings.