Top 10 DIY Energy Efficiency Tips
1. Turn lights and appliances off when you leave the room. It only takes a second, and those savings can really add up.
2. Scrape—rather than rinsing—dishes, and only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. This simple step can save up to 20 gallons of heated water a day
3. Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees (or the “low” setting).
4. Replace your old shower head with a low-flow model. This can save you up to $145 every year by reducing water heating costs!
5. Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs to cut your lighting costs by up to 75 percent. Many utilities offer discounted CFLs, including:
- Alliant Energy
- Xcel Energy
- Minnesota Power
- Shakopee Public Utilities
- Electric cooperative members, check here to see if your coop participates
- Municipal Utility customers, check here to see if your utility participates
6. Plug appliances into power strips and turn them off when not in use. One great way to reduce that energy waste is with power strips, which can be turned off to prevent electricity flowing to appliances when it’s not needed.
7. Use a laundry detergent formulated for use in cold water, and wash your laundry using cold water only. 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating water. Consider using a drying rack or clothesline instead of drying clothes in a dryer. If you do use a dryer, keep your lint trap clean and save over $30 every year.
8. Put aluminum foil behind radiators to reflect heat back into the room.
9. Simple maintenance: keep radiators and refrigerator coils clean and free of dust. Clean or replace the filters in your furnace, water heater, and/or air conditioner.
10. For every degree you turn down your thermostat in the winter, you save 3 percent on your gas bill, and in the summer those savings are even greater when you turn up your thermostat and give your air conditioner a break. You can install a programmable thermostat to automatically implement those energy savings when you leave for the day. Click here for rebates from your utility. Programmable thermostat rebates are available for customers of these utilities: