Energy Tips & Resources

Byers Safe and Smart Energy Conservation

Drought dries out more than just your lawn. Low water reserves in the State of California also put a substantial strain our energy supply. California’s ability to generate hydroelectricity drops during droughts, leading to higher costs and greater use of fossil fuels, solar, wind, and natural gas. Added demand on power sources can lead to brownouts, blackouts, power rationing, and higher prices. Drought or not, investigating your home for possible hazardous energy leaks, energy efficiencies, and energy upgrades is a safe and smart way of life.

1. Turn up the heat

Install a programmable thermostat. During peak hours or when you are not at home in the summer, remember to set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. SMUD says doing that “You will save about 5 to 10 percent on the operating cost of an air conditioner for every two degrees of cooling you’re willing to give up.”

2. Bring the sun’s natural light into your home

Make the switch to new energy-efficient LED light bulbs. Even better, install a Byers Solatube Skylight System and bring in the Sun’s Natural Light into Your Home electricity free. Free Light? Now that’s Brilliant!

3. Look for the Energy Star rating label

Look for the Energy Star rating label on all energy-related products. Energy Star has a plethora of energy savings tips, tricks, and ideas for your home and business.

4. Your laundry can wait

Postpone using major appliances, such as the washer, dryer, electric oven until after 6 PM. If you are a PG&E customer, you can get alerts when you enter a more expensive time period.

5. A fan of fans

Use fans instead of the central air conditioning whenever possible. Individual fans cost about 90 percent less to operate.

Adjust ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise in the summer. Usually, this means that the switch on the fan should be in the “down” position.

6. Unplug and turn off

Good advice for your mind and your energy bills is to turn off all lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use. Unplug electronics when you are not home by having them on a power-strip that you can shut down and turn back on easily. If you want to save money, never put your electronics in standby or sleep mode, just turn them off and unplug them. Doing just this will save you not $10 or $100 a year, but hundreds of dollars with all the electronic devices today’s lifestyle requires.

The savings of having the electronics unplugged and off outweighs the convenience of having something turn on instantly.

7. Reduce your water heater temperature to 120 degrees

You can lower your water heating costs by using and wasting less hot water in your home. Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 18% of your utility bill after heating and cooling. To conserve hot water, you can fix leaks, install low-flow fixtures, and purchase an energy-efficient dishwasher and clothes washer.

Faucets and appliances can use a lot of hot water, which costs you money. Look for ways to heat your water more efficiently and use less.

8. Plan for tomorrow, plant a shade tree

Once properly placed shade trees mature, you can save as much as 40 percent on your summer electric bill. If you are a SMUD customer, free shade trees are available.

There are many benefits of having trees on your property: Shade, beauty, wildlife, tree house or swing, and clean air. A tree is part of the house and part of the family.

9. Blow it out!

Do not make your air conditioner do all the work. Install a Solar Star Attic fan to help keep your attic cool and dry. Install a Solatube Whole House Fan to run in the evening to bring in the cool outside air and remove the hot air inside the house.

If you are PG&E customer, get a home energy checkup and see if there are more ways for you to save energy and money.