Better Habits, Lower Energy Bills

Energy Action Team is an educational program designed to teach children easy ways to use energy wisely in their homes. Help your 5th grade student install the energy-efficient products in their kit to save energy and money in your home today.

Be sure to take a look at the items included in the energy-saving kit to learn about additional rebates and resources available for your home.

Additional Energy-Saving Tips

By adjusting your thermostat to a warmer setting in summer and a cooler setting in winter, you could save up to $170 a year.

  • Did you know that by adjusting your thermostat just one degree, your family can save as much as 1% on your home’s heating and cooling costs?
  • For maximum savings, lower the set point temperature of your thermostat by 7-10°F in the winter (setback) for eight hours a day and raising the set point temperature by 7-10°F in the summer for eight hours a day.
  • Make sure all the windows and doors in your house are closed before turning on either the furnace or air conditioner. More energy is spent on heating and cooling our homes than anything else.
  • Can you feel or hear the wind coming in through your windows or doors, even when they are closed? If you can feel a draft, use rope caulk or weatherstripping to prevent air from coming in or going out.
  • Make the most out of the air in your house by installing a fan. In the summer months, the fan should spin counter-clockwise to keep you cool. In the winter, put it in reverse and spin the fan clockwise. And don’t forget to turn it off when you leave the room. A fan cooling the air for an empty room is only wasting precious resources.
  • Keep the vents in your home clear. It costs less energy to get warm or cool air into a room when the vents are not blocked.
  • Change the air filters in your home every one to three months to keep your heating and cooling systems running the most efficiently. Neglecting this necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning and heater performance while energy use steadily increases.
  • Landscape your yard with shade trees. Save 10% or more on your energy bill and contribute to better air quality. Shade trees are both a beautiful and cost-effective way to lower your energy use.
  • Use ENERGY STAR® certified smart thermostats when available.

LED bulbs use about 75% less energy and last at least 15 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Read on to learn where you can replace and save.

  • Replace your most used 60-watt traditional incandescent bulbs with 7-10.5 watt LEDs and save up to $8.07 per year, per bulb.
  • Turn the lights off when you leave the room. If you frequently forget to turn off your light, leave yourself a note right on the light switch reminding you to turn off that light!
  • Whenever possible, use natural light from the sun to avoid using artificial lighting.
  • Don’t forget about the lights on the outside of your house. Holiday lights can be replaced with LED bulbs to save on energy usage and lower your bill. LED bulbs are also much cooler to the touch than traditional bulbs, so they don’t pose a fire hazard when lighting up the tree.

Energy and water are connected. In many cases when you are saving energy, you are saving water as well. It takes energy to heat water, clean water and bring water to our homes. Water is a vital resource to our planet and our health. Read on to learn simple ways you can conserve.

  • Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth.
  • Only wash clothes when there is a full load to be washed. Reducing the total number of loads each year by 25% could save you 3,227 gallons of water.
  • While rinsing produce or waiting for the water to warm up, collect the water that would otherwise run down the drain and use it to water houseplants.
  • Set the timer and take short, five-minute showers instead of baths.
  • Water plants when it is coolest outside. The water you feed your lawn and plants during the hottest time of day will evaporate. Water first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night and you will have healthier, happier plants as well as more water saved.
  • Install hose nozzles on your outside hoses to prevent water from being wasted. This can save over 100 gallons of water in just a 15-minute car wash.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway, back patio or sidewalks.

All of the appliances in your home cost money to run, but there are steps you can take to cut down on your usage while saving money at the same time.

  • Turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry.
  • Even if you are using the appliances in your home the most efficient way, they could still be costing your family more money and energy than necessary. Replace your old, inefficient appliances with those that have the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR certified products use less energy and can save your family money.
  • Always wait for a full load to run the washer. After you use the dryer, clean the lint trap after every load.
  • Save energy this summer by cooking dinner on the grill instead of in the oven or on the stove top.
  • Make sure your water heater isn’t losing heat. Install an insulating blanket around the tank. Check with the manufacturer first before installing to avoid warranty issues.
  • Did you know your small appliances continue to drain energy even after they are turned off? To avoid energy use when your appliances are not in use, turn off and unplug your computer, TV, CD and DVD players, video game consoles and other small appliances.
  • Do you have an underused or nearly empty refrigerator or freezer in your garage? Unplug it until it is being used again and at full capacity. An empty refrigerator actually uses more energy to cool than a full one.
  • If you have a fireplace in your home, check to see if the damper is open or closed. A damper left open when the heating or cooling system is on will allow heated or cooled air to escape up the chimney.
This program is funded by ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas customers in compliance with state law.
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