Since we are nearly done with the first month of the year, most all New Year’s Resolutions have already gone by the way side. I would like to present you with a challenge for the next eleven months of the year: practice energy conservation measures. In doing so, you will conserve a precious commodity and reduce your living expenses. Cooling season is coming soon. For each degree you raise your temperature, you save 4-7% of your cooling costs. We recommend setting your thermostat at 78 degrees. If you’ve been setting it cooler, gradually adjust your thermostat about one degree a week until you get there. Your body will adjust. Use ceiling fans but only when you are in the room. If your water heater has a recirculating pump, make sure it has a timer that is set for your schedule. Change out your most used lights for compact fluorescent lights or LED. Make sure any outside lights you leave on all night are high efficiency bulbs. CFLs are 75% more efficient than a standard light bulb. Don’t run your clothes washer or your dishwasher until you have a full load. Most important of all: turn things off when not in use.
When upgrading, consider a natural gas tankless water heater. They only heat water when you need it, saving 30% from a standard gas tank water heater. Consider a natural gas clothes dryer. They dry your clothes twice as quickly and use basically no electricity—and only a small amount of natural gas. Commit to upgrade one thing that will save energy in your home this year. Upgrade insulation; have your ductwork sealed or upgrade to a high efficiency, variable speed pool pump. If you follow these recommendations and put your savings aside, you can pay for next year’s New Year’s Eve Party!
Scott Ranck is Senior Conservation & Energy Specialist at Florida Public Utilities Company. All energy questions may be submitted at www.fpuc.com/energyexpert.