Keeping Home Energy Costs Down: Saving Energy Means Saving Money

Cassandra Kyser

Whether you are a renter or a homeowner, there are easy ways for you to save money and be a little kinder to the planet in the process. I talked with Jolene Neisius, marketing and member services representative at Dunn Energy Cooperative, for advice on how to keep electric costs down. “We like to provide low-cost, no-cost ways for people to save on their electric bill,” Neisius said. The first tip is a familiar one, but it bears repeating. If you haven’t already swapped out your light bulbs for LEDs, go for it. Neisius added, “But don’t worry about closets or other lights that are on for less than one hour each day, as you likely won’t see any cost savings. Use your drapes to your advantage.” On hot, sunny days, keep your drapes closed. In the winter, leave them open to let the light and warmth in. Also take a look at the weather stripping on your windows, and replace as needed to prevent drafts. Who doesn’t love a hot shower, but your water heater should be set at 120 degrees. “Anything hotter than that is wasteful,” advises Neisius. If there are only one or two people in your household, you may be able to get away with 115 degrees. Wisconsin weather is full of extremes, so it’s not surprising that 40 to 50 percent of your home’s energy is spent on heating and cooling. Neisius recommends keeping your AC at 78 degrees in the summer, and your heating at 68 degrees in the winter. While Neisius admits that this may be difficult, it’s also allows for the most impact. If those temperatures make you cringe a little bit, don’t give up. Any thermostat adjustments you make will save you money. “You get a 3 percent savings for every degree you adjust,” Neisius said. When in use, heating and AC filters should be changed monthly. This allows for peak performance.

For anyone who would like more energy saving tips, Dunn Energy Cooperative has a free booklet available, “101 Easy Ways to Save.” Call (715) 232-6240 to receive a copy