Recommended energy-saving tips include:
- Program your thermostat to maximize energy savings. Setting your thermostat one degree lower when heating or one degree higher when cooling can reduce energy use by up to 5 percent.
- Do full loads of laundry – wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut laundry energy use in half and using cold water will save even more.
- Air dry dishes. You can cut your dishwasher’s energy use by up to 50 percent.
- Substitute LEDs for conventional light bulbs. Lighting can amount to up to 12% of monthly energy use. LED bulbs can cut lighting costs by 75 percent.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use. When powered on, game consoles, computers and most electronics contribute up to 12 percent of home energy use.
Here are our top ten tips for saving energy.
- Replace any light bulb, especially ones that burn more than one hour per day, with a light- emitting diode (LED) bulb.
- Seal from the inside. Air sealing is an inexpensive way to lower energy costs and improve comfort. Seal gaps and holes in walls, floors, and ceilings with caulk or foam sealant. Look for cracks around windows and where wires and pipes pass through.
- Plug electronic devices such as cable boxes, printers and TVs into power strips to turn off during vacations or long periods without use. Smart power strips make it an easy task to save money.
- Close shades and drapes during the day to help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Change your central HVAC system filter when dirty by the manufacturers recommendations. Dirty filters can impact your home comfort and increase your electricity bill.
- A one degree increases in heating setpoint or reduction in cooling setpoint can increase energy use by 3 – 5%.
- Have your duct work checked for leaks. Leaks at the return, air handler and supply can be a major source of high bills. Mobile homes check at the grill, cross over duct and down flow air handler, for leaks.
- Set both the upper and lower water heater thermostats no higher than 120 F.
- An electric space heater can cost more than $100 per month to operate. Minimize their use, except for limited or temporary spot heating. Turn space heaters off when leaving the room.
- Ensure refrigerator door seals are tight. Eliminate unnecessary refrigerators.
What is a Peak Alert?
A peak alert occurs when all of Ohio’s electric cooperatives approach a new peak demand for electricity usage. This is important because The Energy Cooperative purchases your electricity based on the total number of kilowatt hours of electricity our members use, and also the largest demand for electric power during any one-hour increment. When we set a new “peak demand,” it can mean a higher rate for electricity throughout the rest of the year.
We share peak alerts with our members so they can help out by reducing their usage during those times (reducing the demand) when everyone is using more electricity. A peak alert is not a shortage of electricity available to our members. It is a way we manage the cost of our electricity. By lowering usage during times of peak demand, our members reap the benefit in the form of a lower cost for power.
When Do Peak Alerts Occur?
Peak Alerts are likely to occur Monday – Friday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on days that are extremely hot and humid. Peak Alerts can vary during the winter depending on temperatures and demand.
The Energy Cooperative uses load management programs to reduce the overall load across our electric distribution system when energy use is at it's highest. By reducing our system's energy footprint during peak times, we can avoid costs associated with high grid demand and/or securing additional power generation.
Electric cooperatives across the state save millions of dollars by allowing their generation supplier, Buckeye Power, to control portions of their use of electricity at certain times through the use of load management devices called radio controlled switches. We do this because electricity cost the most when its in very high demand. When the peak goes up, so does the cost. By reducing the demand for electricity created by electric water heaters, home-heating systems and central air-conditioning systems of our members, the cooperative works to reduce the costs of power for our members.
What does it look like?
Members can help the cooperative by reducing energy use by having a radio-controlled switch (RCS) installed on your electric water heater or heat pump system. See our rebate programs for details about rebates for RCS installations on water heaters, heat pumps, and geothermal units!
It’s a simple philosophy: the more electric demand your cooperative can control, the more effectively we can hold down your rates. The success of load management is up to each and every one of us. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.