Spring Cleaning for Your Energy Bills

by Borderstan.com April 8, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.


Change the light bulb. (Luis Gomez Photos)

With spring right around the corner, you might be thinking about washing your carpets and sweeping the porch, but have you thought about cleaning out your energy bills? The average DC household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy.

With summer months of higher energy usage ahead, spring is a great time to evaluate your in-home energy use and take advantage of rebates to upgrade your appliances and lighting.

Lighting and Appliances

Whether you are replacing light bulbs or appliances in your home, ENERGY STAR qualified products can help you save energy and reduce energy bills.

  • Save water, energy, and time. ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load. Most ENERGY STAR clothes washers do not have a central agitator which causes less wear and tear and fewer wrinkles, plus, it increases the capacity.
  • Save money. Using advanced technology and better insulation, ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use half the electricity of standard models and can save you up to $1,100 on energy costs over their lifetime.
  • Upgrade for less. The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) is offering discounts on energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Download $50 easy-to-use mail-in rebates for ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers and refrigerators at  DC SEU.
  • Brighten up. Lighting accounts for about 20 percent of annual household electricity bills, or approximately $200 per year. Compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) and long-lasting light emitting diodes (LEDs) offer higher quality light than incandescent bulbs and use less energy. Find retailers in your area with CFLs for prices as low as $1 and download $5 and $10 rebates for ENERGY STAR qualified LEDs.

Heating and Cooling Maintenance

Nearly 50 percent of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. To prune your energy bill this spring, maintain your cooling equipment.

  • Keep it clean. Dirt and neglect are the top causes of heating and cooling system failure.
  • Schedule a checkup. Have a licensed contractor make sure your system is operating at peak performance.
  • Check your system’s air filter. When it is dirty, change it. At a minimum change it every three months.

For more information on the DC SEU, visit their website or contact Hanna Grene at 202-309-3839 or hgrene[AT]@dcseu.com.

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