Learn How to Reduce Your Electric Bill

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Take The Shock Out Of Your Electric Bill

Take control of your electric usage

How much electricity do your appliances use?

Would you be surprised to learn that heating and cooling costs average 40 - 60% of your total annual electric bill?  Water heaters are the second largest users, costing an average of $33 each month.  And a refrigerator/freezer costs about $14 a month to operate.

Reduce your electric bill by:

  1. Check the efficiency of your old heat pump or water heater.  The City of Albemarle offers rebates of $150 for electric water heaters.

  2. Replacing an outdated or inoperative appli­ance with an energy efficient electric appliance.  Today's heat pumps, water heaters and refrig­erators are much more efficient than ones made 10 or 15 years ago.

  3. Along with insulating the tank, insulate any hot water pipes that run through unheated portions of the house. lso, when your home is poorly insulated, your air conditioning and heating systems must work harder, using more electricity even for small homes. Older homes may need new or additional insulation

  4. Adjusting your thermostat.  For every degree you lower your heat in the 60 - 70 degree range, you'll save about 5% on heating costs. Cooling costs decrease by about 5% for each degree you raise the thermostat.

Insulate Forgotten Places

It is not unusual to find a gap of an inch or wider in a fireplace whose damper is closed. The gap can be stuffed with insulation or, if it 3is too large to insulate, covered with a board. Obviously, the stuffing or covering must be removed before the fireplace is used.

Plug all the holes around pipes, ducts, exhaust fans or wall outlets. Turn off the electrical current switch when insulating the outlets in question. Do not cover light fixtures directly with insulation as this may cause a fire.

When heating and air-conditioning ducts pass through unfinished attics or basements, they can cause expensive heating/cooling losses. Insulating these ducts can save up to $100 a year in heating costs and $35 in central air-conditioning costs.

The more inexpensive approach is to use two-inch foil-backed insulation, remembering to keep the foil facing outward. It is important to seal the cracks between each section of ducting with flexible caulk before you add the insulation.

A LOW-COST, NO-COST effort in each house or apartment would not only help your bank account but would go a long way toward solving the nation's energy problems.  More information about energy conservation measures can be obtained by contacting the City of Albemarle at (704) 984-9400.

Expensive energy-saving suggestions have been getting most of the publicity for the past few years. But here are some measures that will offer you quick returns for a minimal amount of money and effort. And, they won't leave you sweltering, freezing, or in the dark.

INSTALL A SHOWER FLOW CONTROLLER

The flow controller, available at hardware stores, is inserted between the shower head and shower arm.  It reduces the flow of water down to 3 gallons per minute, while the shower continues to give a good spray.  You can save 1 gallon of hot water per minute, or up to 4,000 gallons a year.

TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT AND INSULATE YOUR WATER HEATER

You can turn down the setting on your water heater thermostat to 1100-1200.  This reduces the amount of costly hot water that is used in appliances like dishwashers.  Add an extra layer of insulation around the outside of the water heater tank for additional savings.  Water heater jacket kits are available from local hardware outlets.  Be sure to buy the kind that’s right for your appliance and follow the installation instructions carefully.

COOL THE WASH WATER

Lower the temperature on your washing machine. Changing the rinse water to cold won't affect the results of the wash and will save approximately 17 gallons of hot water.  For more savings, use a cold water detergent and wash, as well as rinse, with cold water.