Reducing Electricity Use and Costs at Home
Reducing energy use in your home saves you money, increases our energy security, and reduces the pollution that is emitted from non-renewable sources of energy. If you are planning to install a small renewable energy system to make your own electricity, such as a solar electric system or small wind turbine, reducing your electricity loads is the first step because it allows you to purchase a smaller and less expensive system.
Appliances and Electronics
Electric Space Heating and Cooling
Electric Water Heating
Reduce Your “Always-On” Appliances
If your home has a smart meter and you can see your hourly consumption, then examine your consumption at 3AM. It should be significantly less than your use at 7pm. If it isn’t, then you might have “vampire loads". Look for electronics that you don’t use or can switch off, or perhaps get rid of that extra refrigerator.
Time-Based Electricity Rates
Many utilities are introducing programs that encourage their customers to use electricity during off-peak hours. The programs pass on the savings to you, the customer, through rebates or reduced electricity rates.
Smart meters and home energy management systems allow customers to program how and when their home uses energy. If you are able to shift your power use to off-peak times -- such as running your dishwasher late in the evening -- these programs can save you money.
Time-based rates are very attractive to owners of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles since typically these vehicles are recharged at night. See buying and driving fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles for more information.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
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