By implementing energy efficiency practices at your home and business you can save energy and reduce your electric bill. Here are some easy, no-cost or low-cost ways to use energy wisely:
In South Florida, the average home’s air conditioning system accounts for 50% OR MORE of the monthly electric bill. To reduce cooling costs:
- Clean or replace A/C filters every 30 days.
- Keep interior doors and A/C vents open to help air circulate.
- Find and seal cracks, gaps, leaks and check insulation. Learn more about qualified FKEC residential rebates.
- Use a programmable thermostat to better manage your settings day and night. Save 5% on monthly cooling costs for each degree you turn it up.
- Consider adding insulation to ceilings, walls and attics. It can reduce cooling costs by 5% to 25%. Learn more about qualified FKEC residential rebates.
- Set A/C to highest comfort level.
- Use fans to augment cooling but turn off when not in the room. Ceiling fans do not actually cool a room. They just make you feel cooler.
- Have your A/C tuned up by a professional. Help your A/C run as efficiently as possible by having it checked by a qualified professional.
- Consider a new, more efficient A/C if your current system is more than 10 years old, needs frequent repairs and/or runs longer to keep your home cool. Learn more about qualified FKEC residential rebates.
Reduce Heat Transfer
Reduce heat transfer from sun exposed windows.
- Closing blinds or curtains to keep direct sunlight out of your home can reduce unwanted heat gain and improve cooling efficiency.
- To further decrease heat gain consider installing tint or a solar shade on windows. Learn more about qualified FKEC residential rebates.
Fight Against Humidity
Humidity affects how temperature “feels.” The more humid the air is in your home, the warmer you will feel. To decrease humidity:
- Use bathroom exhaust fans to remove humidity when showering.
- Use the kitchen exhaust fan to remove heat and humidity produced while cooking.
- Avoid running humidifying, heat producing appliances (i.e. washer, dryer, dishwasher) during the heat of the day.
- Cover aquariums to keep moisture in.
On average, water heating is usually the second largest energy guzzler in your home, accounting for 14-18% of your electric bill. To reduce water heating costs:
- Use less hot water and fix leaks.
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Use only cold water in your washing machine.
- Lowering the temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit could save from 3 to 5% of your water heating costs.
- You may also consider the advantages of solar water heating.
- Limit your residential pool pump use to six hours or less per day in the summer and four hours of less per day in the winter.
- Consider using a variable-speed pool pump to save about $300 a year
- Consider an energy efficient pool heater or use a pool blanket
- Switch to LED lights. LED bulbs last three times as long as CFL bulbs, and use a fraction of the energy.
- Add motion detectors on outdoor lighting.
- Use dimmer switches inside to match your lighting level to your need.
The average home refrigerator with freezer can account for 12-18% of your electricity use. For every cold storage appliance, estimate $20 more a month. To reduce refrigeration and freezing costs:
- Keep your refrigerator full without blocking air flow.
- Make sure your refrigerator has a tight seal. Not having a tight seal all the way around is almost the same as leaving the door open.
- Allow hot foods to cool and cover any food that will release moisture.
- Clean coils every 3 months.
- Replace old refrigerators or freezers with newer, more efficient models.
A dishwasher consumes one-third less hot water than hand washing, therefore saving you energy. To further reduce cost:
- Avoid pre-rinsing dishes in hot water.
- Use the energy-saving cycle.
- Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air dry option, if available.
Stove Top & Oven
To reduce energy used when cooking:
- Use less energy, cooking with a toaster oven or microwave.
- Plan ahead and cook several items at the same time.
- Match the size of your pan to the burner. This gets more heat to the pan and reduces heat lost to the air.
- Do not preheat your oven for food that is slow cooked for hours.
- Use inside light to check cooking progress instead of opening the oven and wasting energy.
Washer and Dryer
- Use cold water to wash whenever possible.
- Adjust the water level to match load size, especially when using hot water.
- Clean the dryer lint filter before each dry cycle.
- Do not overload the dryer.
- Use the auto sensor function, to avoid the dryer running longer than necessary.
Besides replacing older electronics with more energy efficient models, to reduce energy consumption:
- Use energy-saving power strips to avoid “vampire” power loads. TVs, computers and battery chargers draw minimal power even when off.
- Use power management settings on computers and monitors.
- Set computers to automatically switch to sleep mode instead of using a screen saver — Screen savers do not reduce energy use.
Monitor Your Account Usage
As an FKEC member, you can easily track your home or business’s power usage by logging into your online FKEC SmartHub account at FKEC.smarthub.coop. By visiting the “View and Manage My Usage” section of the website, you can analyze and understand usage trends to find ways to cut back.
By simply setting up an FKEC SmartHub account, any co-op member can create and track a monthly budget to avoid unexpected high utility bills. You can also set a point or range in time to compare differences in usage, compare your use and costs, and get energy-saving tips.
SmartHub is available online and via the mobile app at the App Store or Google Play.
Great tools can be found at Energy.gov.
Representatives are available to review your account and suggest ideas on how to be more energy efficient in your home or business. Simply call 305-852-2431 and ask for Member Service.