Spring is near, which means higher temperatures and the beginning of the cooling season. Oncor encourages all residential customers in its service area to take steps to make their homes more energy efficient before the summer heat hits.
In 2007, Oncor’s inaugural Take A Load Off, TexasSM Tour introduced hundreds of consumers in four Texas cities to Oncor energy-efficiency programs that can help reduce energy use and improve energy efficiency. As part of this program, Oncor has developed a list of helpful tips to help consumers save energy this spring and summer. For more information on the 2008 tour that kicked off on Wednesday, March 12, visit www.oncor.com.
- TEMPERATURE CONTROL – In the summer months, set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Use a programmable thermostat with your cooling system to automatically raise the temperature at night or when no one is home. By turning your thermostat up 10–15 degrees for eight hours, a homeowner can save about 5 percent to 15 percent on cooling costs—a savings of as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
- LIGHT IT UP – Replace your current incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use approximately 70 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. Turn off unused lights and electronics (TVs, radios, computers) when you leave a room.
- FILTERS – Check your filters monthly.
- WEATHER-STRIPPING/CAULKING – Weather-strip and caulk around windows and doors to prevent drafts. A gap of just one-quarter inch can let in as much air as a softball-size hole.
- INSULATION – Be sure that your walls and attic are properly insulated. Adding insulation in an attic is one of the most cost-effective savings measures and one that most consumers can do themselves. The minimum recommendation for insulation in most attics is R-30 (or about 9-14 inches, depending on the insulation type).
- SEALING LEAKS – Install gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. Foam gaskets can be found in most home improvement stores.
- USE YOUR CEILING FANS – Ceiling fans can help keep you comfortable at higher thermostat settings.