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General Energy Saving Tips

  • Install a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
    • Preprogramming your thermostat from 72° to 65° for eight hours a day while no one is home, or while everyone is tucked in bed, will cut your heating bill up to 10%.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
    • If every US household replaced just one incandescent bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified fluorescent bulb, it would save enough energy to light 7 million homes and save $600 million in utility bills.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher's dry cycle.
  • Turn off the computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Plug in home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; Turn the power strip off when the equipment is not in use.
    • The average home has 2 televisions, a VCR, a DVD player and 3 telephones. If these items were replaced with ENERGY STAR qualified models, it would save more than 25 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road for a year.
  • Set your water heater thermostat at 120° (or "low").
    • It's hot enough for most needs - including dishwashers, which are generally made with booster heaters - and it cuts down on energy needed to keep water hot in the tank. Lowering your water heater temperature setting from 140 F to 120 F can reduce your water heating energy bill by over 10%.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
    • About 15%t of an average home energy bill goes to heating water. To save hot water, take five-minute showers instead of baths. Use cold water for laundry and save up to $63 a year – detergents formulated for cold water get clothes just as clean.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and clothes.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label on your home appliances and products.
  • Households that replace existing equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified products can cut annual energy bills by 30%, or more than $500 per year.
  • Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air in and out of your home.
  • Look for ways to use lighting controls, such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers-to reduce lighting energy use.
  • Properly caulking and weatherstripping your doors and windows can reduce heating and air conditioning usage by 10% to 20%.
  • Weatherstrip your attic access door and insulate this door by attaching foam insulation or fiberglass batting to the back.
    • Adequate insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawlspaces, can save you up to 25% on home energy bills.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure furniture, carpeting, or drapes do not block them.
  • Glass fireplace doors help stop heat from being lost up the chimney. Also, close the fireplace damper when not in use.
  • Replacing an old refrigerator (18 years or older) with a new unit reduces electric usage by at least 35%. Because they are more efficient than standard models, ENERGY STAR units will lower refrigeration energy usage even more - by over 45%.
  • If your home has only single pane windows, consider replacing them with low-e coated or ENERGY STAR windows. Alternatively, storm windows can reduce your winter heat loss by 25%–50%. As an alternative, you can improve your windows temporarily with plastic sheeting installed on the inside.
  • Have your heating system tuned and cleaned yearly for best efficiency. Fuel savings can range from 5% to 10%. For additional savings, clean or replace air filters in your forced air heating system once a month or as needed. An ENERGY STAR qualified furnace will use about 15% less energy than a standard model.
  • Trees that lose their leaves in the fall give protection from the summer sun and permit winter sunlight to reach and warm your home. Plant trees on the south, east, and/or west sides of your home. Be sure to shade the AC unit. Create a windbreak with evergreen trees and shrubs to stop chilling wind.

Remember to:

  • Improve your mechanical systems. Up to half of your energy bill goes just for heating and cooling.
  • Improve your windows. Efficient windows can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 30%.
  • Improve your appliances & electronics. Appliances account for about 20% of household energy use.
  • Weatherize & insulate. Save up to 20% of your heating and cooling costs with proper weatherization and insulation.
  • Landscape. You could save $100-$250 each year.

NH Office of Strategic Initiatives
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor  |  107 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155  |  fax: (603) 271-2615