For the home

  • Turn off appliances and lights when you are not using them.
    • Leaving a computer monitor on all day can waste $5 to $10 per month.
  • Shut off the air conditioner or heat when you are not home. A programmable thermostat can be used to make this practice more convenient.
  • Reset your thermostats: 65ºF in winter; 78ºF in summer.
    • A 5ºF change on a thermostat can save approximately 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and $100 per year.1
  • In winter, save energy heating your home by opening blinds and curtains on sunny days and closing them at night. In summer, close them to help keep the room cool.
  • If you have them, use your storm windows.
    • Storm windows can reduce heat loss by 25 to 50%.
    • Window plastic can also reduce heat loss drastically and can be used on older windows.
  • Supplement air conditioning with ceiling fan use.
    • Using a ceiling fan as a cooling device will help lower air conditioning bills by 20% to 30%2.
  • Reset your refrigerator to between 38 and 42ºF and your freezer to between 0 and 5ºF.
  • Use glass dishes in the oven - they heat up faster.
  • Match stovetop’s burner size to appropriate size pot or pan to reduce energy waste.
  • Use the microwave instead of the oven, especially in the summer.
    • According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, you could save 30-40% of energy costs by using more appropriate appliances for smaller dishes.
  • Air dry your clothes with an indoor drying rack or outside on a clothesline rather than use a dryer – especially in the summer – or, run the dryer when the A/C is turned off. If you must use a dryer during the summer months, be sure to do it when the air conditioner is turned off to avoid heating up the conditioned air.
  • Always use the air-dry option on the dishwasher rather than the heat-dry. If you do not have the option for air-dry, prop open the door after to dry the dishes after washing is complete.
  • Reset your water heater to 120ºF.
    • 120ºF instead of 130ºF can save $15 per year.
  • Wrap your hot water tank with insulation, such as a fiberglass water heater blanket (if applicable).
  • Turn off your water heater and unplug appliances when you vacation.
  • Only wash full loads of laundry.
  • Wash clothes on warm/cold wash cycle instead of hot/warm.
    • Not using hot water saves approximately 10 cents per load.
  • Scrape dirty dishes instead of rinsing them before loading the dishwasher.
    • Scraping saves 6,500 gallons of water or about $30 per year.
  • Run the dishwasher only with a full load.
  • Fix leaky faucets and never leave the tap water running while brushing teeth or hand washing dishes.
  • Purchase room air conditioning units that have filters that can be cleaned/changed easily and frequently.
  • Have clearly marked recycling cans in easy-to-access areas.
  • Avoid the use of disposable cutlery, plates, cups and napkins.
  • Compost organic household wastes and outdoor foliage waste.
    • During the past 35 years, the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.6 pounds per day.
    • Composting organic waste can reduce the household waste stream by approximately 25%, while creating useful fertilizers for gardens and potted plants.
  • Recycle grocery bags as trash bags, dog-walking bags or packing material, or return them to designated areas at grocery stores.
  • Use reusable plastic for on-the-go meals instead of disposable plastic bags.
  • Grill food to reduce the amount of oils needed in food preparation. Grilling requires less water for pot and pan cleanup. Outdoor grilling has additional indoor air quality and energy savings benefits.