Be Energy-Efficient

When you think of the electricity in your home, the first thing that normally comes into your mind are the lights, right? You may be surprised to know that lighting accounts for only about 15% of your energy bill. There are a lot of other appliances that might seem small but are power-hungry, and these offenders can add up each month, leaving you with a higher electricity bill.

Last year, we saw an increase in the electricity rates in Texas due to hot weather and low reserve margins. But, you can proactively do something to save money on your monthly electricity bill. Below is a list of the major energy-hungry appliances in your home—and a few tips on how you can keep your costs down.

1. The air conditioner

Yes, the air conditioner is one of the biggest power consumers in your home. There are ways that you can keep cool without turning on your air conditioner. However, there are times when it is a must – especially when the temperatures start surpassing the 100 degree mark! Here are ways you can save on cooling costs:

  • The US Department of Energy suggests using a programmable thermostat. This will also make it simple for you to track your energy usage so you can prepare for your upcoming energy bill.
  • Keep your air conditioner lower during night time. You don’t require the same level of coolness at night, so it’s best to turn your air conditioner down during your sleeping hours. Setting a timer will also help.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your unit. We recommend that you replace the filter on a monthly basis, especially during the cooler months. Have a professional service your unit during cooling season too.


2. The water heater, dryer, and washing machine

To help you understand how easily heated water could add up, decreasing the temperature of your water heater by 10 degrees will give you a 5 percent savings on your energy bill. A general rule of thumb would be to keep your water heater at no higher than 120 degrees.

  • Nearly 90 percent of your washing machine’s power is used to heat the water. Launder with cool water to manage energy use. Cool water doesn’t require as much energy, plus, it will get your clothes just as clean!
  • Unless timed well, your dryer will continue to run – even when your clothes are already dry. Remember to keep a close watch on the load size, temperature, and fabric size so that your dryer will run only when necessary.
  • Ensure that your dryer and washer are in tip-top shape. They will run more efficiently if the lint is removed regularly and the detergent drawers are kept clean.


3. The refrigerator

The refrigerator is plugged in at all times to ensure that food is at the optimal temperature. To be more energy-efficient, be careful not to leave the refrigerator door open for a long time. Other tips include:

  • Make sure that your refrigerator is kept away from heat-generating appliances like ovens. Keep your refrigerator away from direct sunlight.
  • Check for your refrigerator (and freezer’s) optimal internal temperature. A layer of ice in your freezer, as well as frozen drinks and sauces in your refrigerator signal an overcooled and overworked fridge.
  • Check the doors for any cool air. If you feel a cool breeze when the door is closed, it is time to replace the seal.

At NEC Co-Op Energy, we are all about sharing energy efficiency tips – especially as the electricity rates in Texas are on the rise. We offer a one-price plan that includes supply and delivery, which will help save on costs. Contact us today to find out more.