Save Energy and Money Without Sacrificing Comfort
With summer here, temperatures are high and so is home electricity usage in most homes throughout New England.
There are many cost effective ways to beat the heat without sacrificing comfort. National Grid encourages customers to use these simple tips to reduce their energy consumption and save on bills during the summer.
- Draw blinds, shades, drapes – Close window dressings to block the solar gain during the hottest part of the day on south and west facing windows.
- Adjust the thermostat – Adjusting your thermostat a few degrees can lead to big savings on your bill. National Grid recommends a setting of 78 degrees or higher when you’re home. A 75-degree setting will cost about 18 percent more than a 78 degree setting.
- Use programmable thermostats – Programmable thermostats allow you to set schedules to reduce cooling when the house is empty. National Grid offers thermostat rebates that vary based on where you live. Customers can visit www.ngrid.com/save to learn more.
- Clean or replace air conditioner filters – Keep the air flowing freely by checking your air conditioner filter and replacing or cleaning it if it’s clogged.
- Turn off fans – Fans don’t actually cool your home; they only circulate air to make you feel cooler. Turn them off when you’re not home or in a room where they’re running.
- Manage your water heater – Decreasing the water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can help save up to $85 per year. A setting of 120 degrees is sufficient for most household needs. If you head out of town, turn your electric water heater off entirely. Once turned back on, most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour. If you have a gas water heater, turn it down to “low” or to “vacation mode.”
- Unplug electronics – Even though your television and other appliances are turned off, many electronics still draw electricity (phantom load). Unplug any unnecessary electronics and chargers until you return home. An advanced power strip on your entertainment system can turn off the power to peripheral devices when the TV is not in use, reducing phantom energy use all year long and saving you up to $60 annually.
- Use light timers, motion detectors – Many people like to leave a light on to make it seem like someone is home while they are away. Use a light timer instead for just a little while each evening. This saves energy and gives a more realistic impression of someone being at home. Rather than leaving your porch light on the entire time you’re gone, install a motion detector to be used both when you’re at home and away.
- Check refrigerator and freezer temps – The ideal refrigerator temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees. For the freezer the ideal reading is 5 degrees.
- Consider replacing or recycling older-model working refrigerators, especially if made before the year 2000 – Older model refrigerators often can use more than four times the energy of newer models and cost up to $150 a year to run. You can get paid to get rid of them with National Grid’s recycling programs in Massachusetts or Rhode Island that now pay $50 per unit (up to two per household). Consider replacing or recycling older-model units to save energy, money, and to help keep these appliances out of landfills.
- Plant a tree – Planting a deciduous tree on the west or south side of your house can provide shade that will help keep it cool in the summer. And when the leaves fall, it will let more light and warmth through in the colder months, helping keep the house warmer and brighter during the winter. Don’t forget to plant away from power lines and call before you dig by dialing 811.
National Grid also offers many programs and incentives to help customers take control of their energy use and save on monthly bills. These include no-cost home energy assessments, during which an Energy Specialist will come to your home, complete a top-to-bottom evaluation, and provide a custom home energy report outlining recommended energy efficiency improvements. As part of the assessment, you could receive no-cost instant savings measures like light bulbs and showerheads, instant discounts on insulation, and incentives for energy-efficient equipment like air conditioning systems and hot water heaters. For more energy saving tips or to learn more about National Grid’s energy efficiency programs customers can visit www.ngrid.com/save to learn more.