The Efficient New Home Construction program helps builders include efficiency measures as they construct the home. But there are dozens of things homeowners can do to save energy and money. Here are some of the most common measures.
Smart thermostats Set your home temperature back 7-8 degrees when you’re sleeping or away. WiFi models enable you to program it or access it remotely from your smartphone. Programmable thermostats can save about $180 every year in energy costs. Visit xcelenergystore.com.
Power strips Use power strips to control power to all of your electrical equipment – and turn them off at night. U.S. Households spend approximately $100 a year powering devices set on standby modes.
Home automation systems Hands free devices can help you control the thermostat, turn off the lights or lock your door.
Appliances ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerators use at least 20 percent less energy than required by current federal standards. A new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb. ENERGY STAR dishwashers use a third of the energy of other models.
Faucet aerators Faucets that use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute can reduce a sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more from the standard flow of 2.2 gallons per minute without sacrificing performance. Also, if you have a 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) showerhead, a 7-minute shower will use less water than a full bath.
Lighting LED lighting provides bright, warm light while using up to 85 percent less energy, generating 70 percent less heat and lasting up to ten times longer than standard lighting. Xcel Energy partners with retailers to offer discounted bulbs. Visit www.xcelenergy.com/lightingdeals to find deals on bulbs near you.
Proper insulation, weather stripping and door sweeps Homeowners typically save 10 percent a year in heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation.
Electric vehicles Electric vehicles are more efficient, require less maintenance, and produce less greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum vehicles, according to the Energy Information Administration. Charge it at home or on the go.
Appliances ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers reduce energy use by 30 percent, water consumption by 50 percent and have improved spin cycle to reduce drying times. Switch to an ENERGY STAR certified water heater, or a tankless water heater, which only heats water as needed. Tankless water heaters save the typical family $80 a year on gas bills.
HVAC system Heating and cooling account for almost 50 percent of the energy use in a typical American home according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Need a new system? Look for the ENERGY STAR label. Change your filter regularly to keep it running properly.
To learn more about Xcel Energy’s rebates and energy efficiency programs, please visit xcelenergy.com