Ways To Save Energy
Save money by conserving energy. The following are energy-saving tips for your home and office:
Sealing Your Home
- Seal any air leaks in your home. Air leaks are commonly found around plumbing and wiring, windows and doors, and where the walls meet ceilings. Remember, a quarter-inch gap at the base of a yard-wide exterior door leaks as much air as a three-inch hole in the wall of your home.
- To prevent drafts, weather-strip all doors and windows, or install storm windows and doors. Lack of adequate weather-stripping can cost you $50 or more per year in lost energy.
Heating and Cooling
- Lower the water-temperature setting of your water heater to 120 degrees for significant savings.
- Wrap the hot water tank with jacket insulation. For safety reasons, wrap only the sides of a gas tank. Wrap the sides and top of an electric tank.
- Do not place furniture over heating and cooling vents. This can block or restrict air flow, making your heating and air conditioning systems work harder.
- Monitor your thermostat setting in the winter. At a setting of 68 degrees, you can see a difference of up to 3 percent in energy costs for every degree you raise or lower the setting.
- Install a setback thermostat. This will lower the temperature while you sleep, and will raise it automatically just before you wake up. It takes far less energy to lower the thermostat and then raise it again than to keep it set at the same setting at all times.
- Regularly maintain your furnace to keep it safe and efficient.
- Run your air conditioner as little as possible to save money and conserve energy.
Appliances and Water Usage
- Use the automatic cycle on your clothes dryer. Drying more than needed wastes energy and wears out clothes.
- Check and clean your dryer exhaust vent regularly and remove lint after each load.
- Wash only full loads in washers and dishwashers to minimize hot water use. Your hot water tank is usually the second-greatest energy user in your home.
- Wash clothes in cold water to reduce your energy bill and prevent shrinking and fading.
- Take showers instead of baths. A shower of seven minutes or less under a two-gallon-per-minute, low-flow showerhead is more water-and energy-efficient than taking a bath in a tubful of water.
What is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter is an advanced electric meter that measures electric usage more often than conventional meters and sends that information more quickly to the customer and the EDC. Through two-way communication, smart meters also can monitor the electric distribution system to ensure it is functioning properly. Smart meters have the following basic functions: measure the electricity used; with customer consent, remotely coordinate electricity consumption; and interface with EDCs to identify outages and provide real-time visibility into the operational status of an electrical distribution system.
How will I benefit from the use of a Smart Meter?
- Smart meters can help your utility restore your service faster during power outages.
- Smart meters can help you better understand how much electricity you are using throughout the day.
- Smart meters can reduce meter-reading costs and help detect theft of electricity.
When will I have my smart meter?
Smart meters must be installed no later than 2023 for customers of the seven EDCs covered under the law. Customers who want the technology sooner may ask the EDC to install it. The customer must pay a fee for the early installation. That fee may be as little at $17. Contact your electcric utility for more information.
What is Act 129?
The General Assembly assigned the PUC to implement Act 129 and to thereby guide consumers and electric utilities toward achieving reduced energy consumption and peak electric demand. The PUC is implementing the act in phases in order to ensure that the utilities provide energy efficiency and conservation programs to customers in the most cost-effective manner possible. Act 129 also directs the electric utilities to provide smart meters by 2023 to help all customers reduce their energy consumption.
Smart meters also play a critical role in energy conservation, and can help consumers use more renewable energy sources. Find out more information on the renewable energy page.
What is the charge on my bill for SMT-C Rider?
This charge will cover the costs of assessing and deploying smart meter technology (SMT) in accordance with Act 129.
Can I opt out of the charge because I don't want a Smart Meter?
No. Under Act 129 and the PA PUC’s order approving utility smart meter deployment plans, the SMT-C Rider is applicable to all customers.
Energy Efficiency Programs and Rebates
Call your electric utility to find out how they can help you lower your energy bill and put MONEY back in your pocket by participating in energy efficiency programs and rebates. Programs offered by your electric distribution company (EDC) include:
- Appliance Recycling
- Heating and Cooling Rebates
- Home Energy Audit and Weatherization
- CFL Discounts and Rebate Programs
EDCs’ Energy Efficiency Programs
- Citizens’ Electric
- Duquesne Light
- FirstEnergy Companies (Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power)
- Pike County Light & Power
- Wellsboro Electric
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