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Tips on How to Conserve Energy

By Tabitha Naylor

Texas is one of the more highly populated states, and as the population continues to rise the rate of energy consumption ascends with it. In Texas, most of the power is consumed by electricity and that is why electric utilities have been urged to join energy efficiency programs and campaigns. The objective of the electric utilities is to maintain electricity at manageable and cost efficient levels. In the recent past there has been an increased concern over the national energy policy and its overall effect on global climate change.

The term energy conservation means using less energy and minimizing the level of waste and excessive use of non-renewable energy resources. Efficiency in energy use means using less energy to obtain the same results. Due to the current and growing demand for energy in Texas, energy prices have shot up and environmentalists are becoming even more aggressive in raising their environmental and energy security concerns. Governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, utilities and their regulators, manufacturers, lawmakers and consumers across the country, and internationally are considering energy efficiency and how to achieve it. The State of Texas is taking responsibility to conserve energy by providing energy tips and energy efficiency programs for their residents.

Texas is known for its drastic temperature changes and this can translate into paying very high prices for your electricity. The U.S department of energy recently released a report indicating that it is possible to cut your energy expenses by up to 25%. The following are simple cost effective tips that can help you improve your energy efficiency and reduce your electricity consumption and costs.

Heating and cooling are responsible for the greatest amount of electrical consumption. You can control how much you spend on heating and cooling by properly maintaining your equipment and setting the thermostat back during the day if no one is home and at night. The optimal temperature for heating is 68%, and for cooling it will save money to set your thermostat higher between 70 and 75 degrees so the air conditioning doesn't kick in as often. Other ways to help keep costs down include upgrading to more efficient insulation methods, and sealing off all air leaks around doors and windows. Clean up the warm air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes. Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators. Clean or replace filters on the furnace once a month, or as needed. Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season. This should be done by a professional. Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans as soon after you are done cooking, or bathing. When replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.

Some other ways to conserve electricity include:

  1. Replacing all incandescent lights with LED lightbulbs or with compact fluorescent bulbs marked with the ENERGY STAR label.
  2. Allow dishes to air dry instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle. If you do use the dishwasher make sure you fully load the dishwasher.
  3. Turn off your television set, computer and monitor when not in use. Smart plugs are a way to ensure you don't forget to turn off these items.
  4. Take short showers instead of baths. Not only will you save energy, you will also save water.
  5. Wash and dry full loads of clothes. If the weather is nice consider hanging clothes out to dry instead of using your dryer. If you are replacing appliances or looking to buy electronic products look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
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