Installing a digital thermostat is not a new suggestion! But, you will be surprised by how many homes do not follow through with this simple energy saver. Taking initiative to install a digital thermostat is especially less likely if you are a tenant, as any addition to the house should be approved and potentially paid-for by the landlord.
If you are a tenant, the easiest and cheapest method of getting a digital thermostat installed is usually through your local electric company. For example, in Austin, Texas, Austin Energy has a Power Saver Program that allows customers to apply and receive a programmable thermostat with installation and warranty all for free! In exchange they are able to balance the electric load during the peak summer usage hours. Make sure to approve the installation through your landlord.
If you are a home owner and already have a digital thermostat installed, learning how to operate the thermostat and setting the indoor temperatures based on your work schedule and the seasons is a must for efficiency. If you haven’t it installed, then call a local electrician and let them perform the thermostat installation service with a smile.
A typical digital thermostat setting is 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter while you are in your home. If you are going to be away from your home for several hours during the summer and winter months (when temperatures are more extreme) it is wise to set your thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher during the summer months and 10 to 15 degrees cooler in the winter months. The energy that your conditioning unit does not expend to heat and cool your home while you are away can equal tremendous savings.
Unplug your unused appliances. Phantom power, or standby power, is when electrical devices use energy even while they are not in use. Almost every electronic device that you plug in consumes electricity even after you have turned off the device. Using power strips for computers, entertainment systems, and kitchen appliances can make it easy to turn on and off your daily-used electrical devices so that they are not sucking phantom power while they are not in use.
Other phantom power culprits include phone, computer, and personal device chargers. Always remember to unplug your charger from the electrical socket once your device is charged so that it does not continue to use energy. Guest rooms tend to have numerous appliances such as televisions, entertainment centers, alarm clocks, and cordless phones that use phantom power and are adding cost to your electric bill.
Lower the temperature on your Water Heater is a simple energy saver; set your water heater to 120 degrees. Another helpful tip is to purchase a hot water jacket which will provide additional insulation to the water heating unit. If your water heater is old, purchasing an Energy Star water heater with a high-efficiency rating is another cost effective method of saving on your electricity bill.