Archive for November, 2011

Holiday Lights: Be Safe. Be Efficient. Go LED.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

If all decorative light strings sold in America this year were ENERGY STAR qualified, we would save over 700 million kWh of electricity per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from about 100,000 cars! Many ENERGY STAR qualified decorative light strings feature LED technology. What is an LED?

  • Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are small light sources that are illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material.
  • LEDs are exceptionally energy efficient when producing individual colors, many using up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light.
  • For example, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-foot (7.3-meter) strings.

Watch this short video with Kermit, Bunsen and Beaker to learn about holiday light safety.

Conserving Energy in the Fall

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Fall is in full swing – this morning felt like the coldest of the season so far. Use these easy tips to conserve energy as the weather cools down.

1. Unblock heating vents. Make sure heating vents aren’t blocked by furniture or drapes, and the dampers are open. Vacuum out dust and pet hair from warm air registers and cold air return so your furnace runs more efficiently.

2. Check the water heater. If its surface is hot – or even warm – some of the energy used to heat the water is being wasted. Wrap the heater in an insulating blanket. Be sure to check the user manual and labels on the tank first.

3. Clean the chimney. Fall is the best time to clean the chimney and get vent systems checked. Pipes must be properly connected and there should be no signs of rust or damage.

4. Seal leaks around doors, windows and electrical outlets. Heat from the home escapes out of these cracks. Sealing these leaks can save on your heating bill.

Want a professional contractor to assess your home energy efficiency? Call 376-3586 to schedule a Home Snapshot Energy Assessment today!

A Programmable Thermostat Can Help You Save

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Heating is the greatest electrical expense for most OPALCO members. A programmable thermostat helps make it easy for you to save by offering pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature – when you are home, asleep, or away. Learn what to look for and how to use a programmable thermostat.

  • The pre-programmed settings that come with programmable thermostats are intended to deliver savings without sacrificing comfort. Depending on your family’s schedule, you can see significant savings by sticking with those settings or adjust them as appropriate for your family.
  • The key is to establish a program that automatically reduces heating in your home when you don’t need as much.
  • And, don’t forget to change your air filter/s regularly!

Learn more at EnergyStar.