Energy Education

Did you know?

The average home uses about $2000 worth of energy annually, and that’s only for 2-3 people! If you have a bigger household your annual costs are even higher. In addition to applying for our utility assistance and weatherization programs, check out our simple tips for conserving energy, saving money and making your home more comfortable year-round!

13% of all household energy usage is appliances and “phantom power”, or devices and appliances that are not being used, but still running power. While every home is different, lowering your home’s “phantom power” usage could save you almost $300 annually!


  • Unplug and/or power down any device or appliance that is not being used (computers, lights, fans, AC units, TV’s, etc.), especially when leaving for long periods of time.
  • Make sure your refrigerator is set at the correct temperature. Refrigerators should be set between 38 and 42 degrees, and freezers between 0 and 5. If your settings are 10 degrees too cold, which is often the case, your electricity costs can be up to 25% higher.
  • Upgrade kitchen appliances when possible. Kitchen appliances built within the last 30 years use about 70-95% less energy than older appliances.

Lighting makes up more than 25% of energy consumption in homes, and only about 10% of the energy used by the bulbs creates light, the other 90% creates heat.


  • Switch out any light bulbs you can for LED bulbs that use 75% less energy and last over 30 times longer than conventional bulbs!
  • LED bulbs put out up to 5 times less heat than conventional bulbs, so they will help keep your house naturally cooler during the warm season.
  • Turn off any lights and lamps in rooms or areas not being used, especially when gone for a long period of time.
  • Natural lighting uses no energy and has been proven to have mental and physical health benefits, so open your blinds and curtains as much as possible during the day to light your home instead of overhead lights and lamps.

Nearly 50% of all household energy usage is spent on heating during the cold season.


  • About 30% of heat loss in a home is from doors and windows. When it’s cold out, always keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Try putting sandbags or smaller insulation items (towles, blankets, etc.) against doors and windows to help prevent leaks.
  • 1 degree change on the thermostat represents about 1% of energy usage. Try keeping your house at a lower temperature during the day if you are out. When home during the day try to keep it at 68 degrees or lower, and 60 degrees at night.
  • Bundle up! Before raising the thermostat, try layering up with sweaters, thermals, slippers, blankets, etc.

Around 90% of the energy used to run the washing machine comes from just heating the water.


  • Always wash full loads, to avoid doing many smaller loads.
  • Wash clothes on warm or cold water, and always use cold water for the rinse cycle.
  • Line/air dry when possible, instead of using the dryer. It can reduce about $100 of energy costs annually and is better for the environment.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after every use.

The average household spends $400-$600 annually on water heating alone, just less than a quarter of total energy costs.


  • According to the EPA, letting hot water run for 5 minutes is the energy equivalent to running a conventional lightbulb for 22 hours. So use hot water only when needed, cold water cleans dishes and laundry just as well when using soap/detergent.
  • Take short showers instead of baths, a 10-minute shower uses less water than a bath.
  • Turn the sink off while washing dishes and only use it to rinse.
  • Lower your electric water heater to 120 degrees, or “low”. Turn it off when gone for a long period of time.