Energy Efficiency in Your Home
Reducing household energy use doesn’t require stripping down to the bare essentials in the summer, or walking around your house wearing extra sweaters and earmuffs in the dead of winter. It means being smarter about how you manage the energy you use. Consider Sam Houston Electric Cooperative your trusted source for exploring energy-saving strategies.
As a not-for-profit, member-owned electric co-op, we want to help our members. One of best ways we can do that is by providing energy efficiency information to enable you to take action to lower your monthly bill.
Energy efficiency is simply accomplishing the same tasks, having a similar level of comfort each day, and using less energy in the process. You can achieve increased efficiency by replacing an older, less efficient appliance with a newer model, but sometimes a minor change of habit is all that’s really needed. Simple changes like leaving on fewer lights, turning down the thermostat or washing clothes in cold water instead of hot can make a big difference on your electricity usage.
The Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Why are energy conservation and energy efficiency more important than ever? The short answer is that energy reduction in your home:
- Saves you money
- Improves our economy by enabling people to spend on other items
- Is better for the environment
The more complex answer is that modern life means we are increasing demand on all forms of energy. For example, we all are more reliant on devices, computers, phones, televisions and video gaming systems that all rely on electricity. These new electronic devices are improving our quality of life, and electric co-ops are promoting efficiency so these new conveniences do not increase your monthly bill.
Energy Efficiency: the “First Fuel”
In this period of rapidly changing technology, Americans are increasingly aware of the need to reduce energy consumption. Many now call energy savings the “first fuel", because the easiest way to reduce fuel cost and carbon emissions is to use less energy. Energy is a valuable commodity; we must all do our part to conserve.
Electric Co-ops Can Help You Use Less Electricity
Consumers recognize that conserving energy and becoming more energy efficient are the right things to do, but they are also looking for guidance on how to accomplish these goals. Electric co-ops are a great local resource for helping members develop plans tailored to their needs and local environment. Our employees understand better than most that every household has its own complex energy system.
Sam Houston EC offers free home energy audits and energy-saving tips on the latest technology. The first step in this process is easy– simply reach out to us for help in taking control of your energy use, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving the ideal balance of efficiency and conservation. In turn, you will be helping yourself, your community and the environment, and that benefits all of us.
Start by logging in to your mySamHouston account, where you can find daily and even hourly information on your energy usage. Look at when your usage spikes, and think back to what was going on in your home at that time. Did you have friends or family over? Were the kids home alone? Was the washer, dryer or stove running during the hottest part of the day, causing your a/c unit to work harder to keep your home cool? You can also contact Sam Houston Electric Cooperative at 800-458-0381 to review your energy use and learn about other ways to save on your bill.
Five Tips to Save Energy at Home
- Install and set up a programmable thermostat so your heating and cooling systems work less when you are away from home. Remember to set your thermostat to 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter. According to the US Department of Energy, You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.
- Insulate your electric water heater.
- Plug leaks around windows, doors and power outlets with caulk and weather stripping.
- Monitor your energy use on your mySamHouston account to spot trends and sudden changes.
- Use your ceiling fans only when you’re in the room. Ceiling fans can help you feel more comfortable when you are near them, but in an unoccupied room, they’re wasting valuable electricity.
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