Electrical energy conservation is the practice of decreasing the quantity of energy used. It may be achieved through efficient energy use, in which case energy use is decreased while achieving a similar outcome, or by reduced consumption of energy services.
City of St. Petersburg Energy Efficiency Program
Energy efficiency improvements can significantly reduce a customer's monthly energy bill. Through the city's Energy Efficiency Program, the city provides grants for assistance amounts of $1 to $3,000, and non-interest bearing, forgiven or amortized loans for assistance amounts between $3,001 and $15,000 per household, to be used toward home energy audits and energy conservation improvements such as, but not limited to: air conditioning tune-ups, duct repair, insulation, weather stripping, and window filming. Funding, which is means tested and limited to residents in the Bartlett Park neighborhood, is provided through the city's State Housing Initiatives Partnership ("SHIP") Local Housing Assistance Plan ("LHAP").
What Can You Do?
Check out a Kill A Watt from your library. St. Petersburg libraries now have Kill A Watt devices that can be checked out and taken home. Simply connect appliances to the device outlet and it will log and record its overall kWH used. Plug your devices in and see how they measure up to one another. Discover which devices are better off left unplugged by monitoring how much electricy they use while idle.
Input your findings along with your last power bills readings to see exactly how much those devices cost to run. Use the hours per day slider to find out just how much you can save by having the device run less!
Home Energy Audit A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Audits also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough audit.
- Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits by US Department of Energy
- Professional Home Energy Audits by US Department of Energy
- Home Energy Improvement Program by Duke Energy
You can save 10% or more a year on your heating and cooling bills by installing a programmable thermostat to automatically regulate heating and cooling.
For energy efficiency, your home should be properly insulated from the roof down to its foundation.
Purchase an Efficient Cooling System
Add insulation in your home.Heating Ducts
Insulate heating ducts in unconditioned areas, such as attics and crawlspaces. Keeping ducts in good repair can prevent heat loss of up to 60% at the registers.Insulate Water Heater and Pipes
Insulate your water heater tank and your water pipes to prevent heat loss, especially if you have an older water heater.
Two-thirds of all homes in the United States have air conditioners. Air conditioners use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at a cost of over $11 billion to homeowners. As a result, roughly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year-an average of about two tons for each home with an air conditioner.
- What to Consider When Selecting a Heating or Cooling System
- Learn How to Select an Efficient Air Conditioner
- Learn How to Select an Efficient Heat Pump
Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment. Avoid placing lights or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Finally, vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup and replace air filters, as required. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the air flow through your registers.
Install Efficient Windows and Doors
When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.
Keep Hot Air from Leaking into Your Home
Install Efficient Windows
Replace Old, Exterior Doors With New, Energy Efficient Doors Window Treatments and Coverings
- What to Consider When Selecting New Windows
- Energy Performance Ratings for Windows, Doors and Skylights
- Find ENERGYSTAR® Windows
Window treatments and coverings are not only for decoration but can also save energy.
Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings. Properly air sealing such cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor environment.
Consider employing passive solar design techniques that can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models.
- Learn How to Estimate How Much Energy Your Appliances Use
- Find ENERGYSTAR® Appliances
- Home Energy Appliance Calculator by Duke Energy
Heat buildup refers to the increase in ambient temperature resulting from appliances or activities that generate heat. For example, cooking, bathing, washing dishes, running a dishwasher and other activities can also pump heat into your home. Even running a computer, stereo or television and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers will add some heat to your home.
Consider Renewable Energy
Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10%–15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light-the rest is turned into heat.
Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting. The use of windows and skylights to bring sunlight into your home is known as daylighting.
Dishwashing and Laundry
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing. Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for heating the water.
Heat Your Swimming Pool Efficiently
Heating a swimming pool can consume a lot of energy and add up to high heating bills.
Landscape for Energy Efficiency
Use a Pool CoverHeat Your Swimming Pool Efficiently
Use a pool cover when your pool is not in use to reduce water loss through evaporation and save up to 50%-70% on your pool heating costs.
Determine the best temperature for your pool and estimate your energy costs to ensure you are operating your pool for maximum efficiency and enjoyment. Install an Energy-Saving Pool Pump and Operate it Efficiently
You can save energy and maintain a comfortable swimming pool temperature by using a smaller, higher efficiency pump and by operating it less.
Plant trees of the appropriate size, density, and shape to provide shade as needed for energy savings. Also, plant trees or shrubs so they shade air conditioning units and do not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
This information is adapted from the Unites Stated Department of Energy's online guide titled "No-Cost and Low-Cost Tips to Save Energy This Summer"