Mark StubbsAs temperatures rise and air conditioners get a serious workout, looking for ways to improve energy efficiency at home can help you save energy and money. Making small adjustments in when, where and how you use electricity will help control your energy costs.

A good temperature. At 78 degrees most people are comfortable outside, so why not indoors? Most people aren’t sensitive enough to notice much of a difference in air temperature whether the thermostat is set at 73 or raised to 78. But the closer your thermostat setting is to the outdoor temperature, the less your air conditioner will run, and small changes can add up to big savings.

Each degree of temperature difference represents a percentage of the total cooling load. That means when temperatures are in the high 80s, you could reduce your cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent for each degree above 75.

A smart adjustment. If you don’t want to worry about when to adjust your thermostat, use a smart thermostat. Farmers EC participates in Google’s Nest Rush Hour Rewards Program. When you purchase and install a Google Nest Thermostat in your home, you can then register it to participate in the peak energy reducing program.

When you enroll, Farmers EC will reward you with a $100 account credit (maximum 2). After the first year, you can earn an additional $50 credit for each consecutive year you participate in the program. For more information on the Rush Hour Rewards Program, click here.

Create a breeze. Fans offer an economical alternative to air conditioning on mild days and can pitch in for comfort as temperatures climb. In summer, set ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise and blow air downward to get the most value.

Create a cool kitchen. Use the microwave for cooking when possible. Microwaves use about 40 percent less energy than full-size ovens, and a toaster oven or induction cooktop consumes about half as much power.

Share the Space. Today, it’s common for everyone to retreat to separate spaces, turn on their electronics and close their doors to cocoon in their own environments.

Reduce energy by spending more time together in the same room—even while pursuing different interests.

Watch out for waste. Be sure to turn off unnecessary lighting—especially if you’re not in the room. And when your bulbs burn out, consider replacing it with an LED equivalent bulb. LEDs last longer and they use less energy than an incandescent bulb.

Entertainment for less. Speaking of LEDs, when it comes to TVs, LEDs are 30 percent more efficient than LCD televisions. So, when it is time to make an upgrade, be sure to consider the LED option, and don’t forget to look for the Energy Star label, so you know it’s the most energy-efficient device.


Download our FREE Energy Tips PDF or request our Home Energy Efficiency Guide in the Efficiency Hub