New Year's Resolution: Save Energy
Help the environment—and your bottom line—by using energy wisely in 2019.
If you’re writing down goals to accomplish or lifestyle changes to make in 2019, consider adding "be more energy-efficient" to your list. It's easy and impactful!
Simply flipping a switch can save energy.
Here are some ways to get started as we all welcome a new year!
10) Turn off the lights! When leaving a room, remember to turn off lights, TVs and other electronics you aren't using.
9) Use sunlight to your advantage. Open blinds or curtains during the day to let in the sun’s warmth. Closing those window treatments at night will capture the warm air inside your home, preventing heat loss.
8) Lower your water temperature. Lowering the temperature on your water heater by a few degrees likely won’t make a difference in comfort and will save energy. Cutting the time you spend in the shower also will lead to savings.
7) Use your ceiling fans. Setting your fans to spin at a low speed clockwise will pull warm air down from the ceiling during cold winter months, raising room temperatures and reducing how often your furnace turns on.
6) Use a smart power strip for electronics. Help reduce phantom energy use by plugging electronics into a smart power strip that shuts off electricity to devices when they aren't in use.
5) Switch to LED lighting. Replace incandescent lightbulbs with more efficient LED bulbs. LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last longer.
4) Install a smart or a programmable thermostat. Heating and cooling accounts for about half of the energy use in a typical home, making it the largest energy expense for most households.
You can control a Nest smart thermostat from your mobile devices.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set a schedule, lowering the temperature, for example, when you're away at work or at school and returning to your preferred temperature when you're expected home. Also, make sure your fan is set to “Auto” instead of “On," so it runs only when heating or cooling your home.
Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature remotely from a smartphone or tablet. Some models also adapt to your household behaviors and adjust the temperature accordingly. If you're looking to upgrade to a smart thermostat, visit focusonenergy.com/smart for a $75 incentive offer.
3) Hire a professional to service your furnace. If you haven't had your furnace serviced for more than two years, schedule it for routine maintenance. Also, check your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it's dirty to ensure sufficient airflow. Very few filters need changing monthly, but check it until you learn how fast it gets dirty.
2) Check for leaks. Since leaks waste heat, replace worn weatherstripping around doors and windows to keep in warm air and to reduce drafts.
1) Choose ENERGY STAR® appliances and electronics. If you know you'll be buying a new appliance or television in the New Year, make sure it features the ENERGY STAR label. All ENERGY STAR-certified products meet specific energy-efficiency requirements established by the EPA.
For answers to your energy questions, talk with MGE's energy experts on our Home Energy Line.
Call us at (608) 252-7117 or 1-800-245-1125, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Or, email us at AskExperts@mge.com.
We are here to help and to work toward shared energy goals for our community!