Manage Your Home Energy Use

Lifestyle Can Make a Difference

There is a direct relationship between the number of people living in a home and the amount of energy that is being used. This is especially true if you have teenagers at home. If friends and relatives are visiting, you can expect to use more energy for heating or cooling, laundry, bathing, or cooking.

Ask Yourself Some of the Following Questions…

  • When I take a bath, do I use hot water sparingly or is the tub completely full of water?
  • Do I take short showers or do I stay in the shower until the hot water runs out?
  • Do I repair leaky faucets or let them drip?
  • Do I operate automatic washers or dishwashers with a full load, or whenever it’s convenient?

Remember, knowledge can be a powerful tool in reducing your energy costs. As you look through this pamphlet, you may discover a number of ideas in home energy management that will help you to identify areas that need improvement. Learn how to calculate your energy usage, review insulation recommendations, understand the details in your electric bill, learn energy savings tips, and more. Formulate a plan, make the right decisions, and follow through in order to improve energy efficiency in your home.

Where Is My Energy Going?

This illustration shows that the majority of energy usage goes into cooling and heating a home. These statistics are based on an average home for a family of four.

For great information on home energy efficiency, go to the ENERGY STAR website and search for the “Home Energy Yardstick” tool to see how your home measures up.

Other Ways to Save

Heating a swimming pool can consume a lot of energy that adds up to high heating bills! You can improve your swimming pool’s heating and energy efficiency by doing the following:

  • Installing a high- efficiency or solar pool heater
  • Using a pool cover
  • Managing the water temperature
  • Installing a variable flow, energy-efficient pump motor
  • Install a time clock

According to the Energy Savers website in a Florida study, most people who reduced pump time to less than 3 hours per day were still happy with the water’s quality. On average, this saved them 60% from the past charges for pumping on their electricity bill.

Spas or hot tubs use a significant amount of energy. It’s wise to heat the spa or pool only when in use. You can save by simply covering your spas or pools with an insulated cover. This helps to maintain the temperature, plus it prevents excess debris from getting into the water.

Calculating the Cost of Energy – Example

watts X hours = watt-hours
1,000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh)
kWh use per year X $ per kWh = $ household electricity cost per year

To find out how much it costs to run a 60-watt porch light 11 hours a night for an entire year or month at the cost $.1019* per kilowatt-hour (kWh), calculate:

60 watts X 11 hours/day = 660 watt-hours/day
660 watt-hours/day X 365 days/year = 240,900 watt-hours/year
240,900 ÷ 1000 = 240.9 kWh
240.9 kWh X $.1019* (kWh energy charge) = $24.55 per year
$24.55 ÷ 12 months = $2.05 per month

*SVEC residential energy charge for first 1,000 kWh per month