Ways to Save Money, Energy & Water During the Winter
There is a lot of focus on saving energy and water in recent times. Increasing energy and water rates have a definite impact on our wallets. Saving resources is also very important as our communities grow. Below are some tips on how to save not only energy and water, but money as well during the winter.
Energy used to be charged solely on how much total energy was used. “Time Of Use” pricing plans change this model. The way “Time Of Use” plans work is the rates charged for electricity depend on the time of energy use. Peak rates are charged between the hours of 4pm and 9pm. An easy way to take advantage of this is starting the washer and dryer when you wake up in the morning and turning on the dishwasher at 9pm before you go to bed. Remembering to turn off lights and other devices when not in use will save you energy around the clock.
Time of Use Rates
Starting November 1st, 2019 (November – May):
- On Peak Hours – Daily 4 pm to 9 pm
- Off Peak Hours – Monday to Friday 6 am to 12 am & Weekends and Holidays 2 pm to 12 am
- Super Off Peak Hours –
- Monday to Friday 12 am to 6 am & Weekends and Holidays 12 am to 2 pm
On Peak Rates 28¢ – 37¢ kWh
Off Peak Rates 27¢ – 36¢ kWh
Super Off Peak Rates 25¢ – 35¢ kWh
Make certain that your AC unit’s filter is clean. According to the Energy.Gov site, a clean filter saves you between 5% to 15% of energy use to operate. You may want to check if your AC unit is an energy efficient model if it has been a while since you last upgraded your unit. Energy.Gov states that you can reduce energy use between 20% and 50% with an energy efficient model. When operating your AC unit, doors and windows need to be closed for maximum energy efficiency. Otherwise, the warm air escapes and cold air gets in.
Insulation, Windows, Doors, and Skylights
Complete insulation is important when keeping your house heated. Heat rises and cool air sinks. The roof is the primary area where heat escapes. Other places to address for thorough insulation include walls, doorways and window seals. If you haven’t replaced your windows in a while, check if they are energy efficient models. Double pain windows will save you energy. The same goes for doors and skylights. Look for doors, windows and skylights that are labeled as energy efficient. Be sure to check for evidence of their energy efficiency such as rating.
Outdoor drip irrigation systems save you water compared to traditional sprinkler systems. A traditional water sprinkler sprays the top of the grass which exposes the water to sun and is prone to evaporation. Drip irrigation systems drip water directly into the soil. Turn watering systems off during rainy seasons. Rainbird systems do this automatically. Use water efficient appliances and fixtures indoors. If you have not replaced these items in a while, installing new fixtures and appliances is worth looking into.
Energy Star is a government program developed in 1992 to promote energy efficiency. View their website for more energy tips and information on energy saving appliances. Energy.gov is another government website where you can learn about energy conservation. You can get water conservation tips at the official City of San Diego website. Saving water and energy are good for our planet. Conservation also has the nice benefit of saving you money as well.