Take Action to Clean The Air Through Energy Efficiency at Home
The small choices we make at home affect the air, and by conserving energy YOU can help clean the air. In fact, if every home in Utah shaved their energy usage by just 10%, we could save nearly 900 million kWh of electricity and over 7,000 million cubic feet of natural gas annually! Most homes and businesses can easily cut energy costs by 20%, if not more, through reducing inefficient energy use. Cutting energy waste in your home doesn't have to be difficult.
1. Five-minute Fixes
Lower the temperature on your water heater to the warm setting (120°F).
Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer (78-80°F) and a few degrees lower in the winter (70-72°F).
Don't let energy vampires drain your wallet! Some devices use power whenever they are plugged in, even if they're turned off or not being used. Unplug devices that aren't in use, or plug devices into a power strip that can be switched off.
2. Find out where you are using the most energy
- Use the EPA's Home Energy Yardstick to see how much energy you use for heating and cooling versus appliances, lighting, and hot water.
- First, contact your utility company and ask for your energy usage history from the last 12 months. If you're a Rocky Mountain Power or Questar Gas customer, you can download your electricity and natural gas usage history through your online account access. (Go check now: Rocky Mountain Power | Questar Gas)
- Next, enter your information into the online Home Energy Yardstick analysis to see how your home scores.
- You can also get help from Questar Gas to identify opportunities to save energy with a ThermWise Home Energy Plan. Schedule an appointment with a Questar Gas Energy Expert for $25 by calling (800) 695-7375 or e-mailing . If you're feeling more adventurous, complete the Mail-In Energy Plan by yourself for free.
3. Fix it: Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
Lighting is the easiest place to start saving money. As lightbulbs burn out, replace them with efficient CFLs or LEDs. You can buy CFLs and LEDs for discounted pricing at these Utah retailers.
4. Fix it: Seal Air Leaks to Stop Energy Waste
Don't let your money leak out of the house! Your walls, floor, and ceiling are called your "building thermal envelope," and the best thing you can do to avoid energy waste is to seal air leaks! If you're a DIY'er, use the Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR.
5. Fix it: Heat and Cool Your Home Efficiently
Install highly efficient evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling is perfectly-suited to Utah's arid climate and can cut cooling energy costs by 75%.
Replace filters regularly.
Keep your furnace and air conditioner tuned-up.
6. Fix it: Programmable Thermostat
By setting your programmable thermostat correctly, you can stop wasting money heating or cooling your home when you're not there. By choosing different temperatures for different times of day, you can make sure your house is at the perfect temperature when you return home!
Programmable thermostats range in price from under $30 to $250. The most basic will allow you to automatically control the temperature of your home to match your schedule, the most expensive types synch up with your smart phone to automatically determine your schedule and heat and cool your home accordingly. Incentives are available for those who complete a Questar Home Energy Plan before installation.
Programmable thermostats can be purchased at most hardware stores, and most are easy to install yourself.
Watch a 4 minute installation video
Use Utah Clean Energy's step-by-step guide to learn how to install your thermostat!
7. Fix it: Energy Smart Appliances
ENERGY STAR products are independently certified to use less energy without sacrificing features or functionality. When you're replacing or upgrading an appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR logo to find products that will use less energy and save you money.
8. How to Pay For Bigger Home Efficiency Projects
Many energy efficiency improvements don't require major investments, but some projects do. Ask your contractor if they offer financing options (many do). Shop around by checking with your credit union or bank about traditional financing options or check out the WJ Bradley Power Saver loan program available to Utahns.
9. Rebates and Tax credits
Check out our Incentive Central page for a roundup of all available energy efficiency rebates and tax incentives.
NOTE: For any purchase you make be sure to keep the receipts, documents, and product information, as they may be needed as part of your rebate application.
10. Track Your Energy Usage
Keep an eye on your energy bills and compare your costs before and after efficiency upgrades. See how much you've saved and look for ways to continue saving energy and money.
11. In-depth energy retrofits: Find a Contractor
For in-depth energy fixes, you might consider contacting a contractor or distributor listed on the ThermWise Authorized Contractors list or Rocky Mountain Power's Home Energy Savings Program Trade Allies. These contractors may be more familiar with the energy efficient products and services. These lists are provided for convenience only; we do not endorse any specific companies or products.
You can also find a contractor on your own. Follow these recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission when selecting a contractor.
- Reduce Air Pollution from our Home Info Graphic
- Energy Efficiency for Homes: U.S. Department of Energy
- ENERGY STAR
- Consumer Guide to Home Energy Saving: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
- Home Energy Saver Calculator
- Home Energy Rating Score: Residential Energy Services Network
- Building Performance Institute