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No reason not to fully embrace the LED light bulb


October 11, 2017   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

LED light bulbs have come down in price dramatically.

If you’ve put off changing out incandescents and/or CFLs to LEDs, the U.S. Department of Energy says LED bulb prices have dropped in price by 85 percent over the last few years!

Now, or the upcoming holiday season is the time to act. Smaller homes have about 20 light bulbs, larger ones about 40. Changing out a 20-bulb house to LEDs costs about $100, or $5 a bulb. To many consumers, that’s a big outlay. Is there a payoff?

According to the June 9, 2017, issue of USA Today, “The longer shelf life of LED lights makes up for the extra expense with savings on your energy bill.”

The Consumer Federation of America stated this past summer that over a 10-year period, switching to LEDs can help consumers save approximately $1,000 over 10 years, which translates to about $8.33 a month.

Choices (dimmable and nondimmable) abound in today’s LED light bulb smorgasbord. Even grocery stores, not just the big-box,... Continue Reading >>

Have a “planned outage” this fall and replace your old, inefficient heat pump


September 20, 2017   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

Proper heat pump installation is key to energy efficiency and that’s why Santee Cooper has a list of Trade Allies that can meet a customer’s heating and cooling needs.

Santee Cooper’s job, first and foremost, is to generate reliable electric power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the lowest cost possible. We’ve been doing that since 1942, and today serve nearly 180,000 commercial and residential customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties.

But just like people, the generating equipment that works hard to make that power needs a break every now and then. That’s why during the fall and spring, Santee Cooper and most other utilities have what are known as “planned outages.” They’re done when the weather is typically mild, when demand for power is relatively low. During this downtime, maintenance and needed repairs are done to generating equipment that you, the customer, depend on.

As summer officially transitions into fall on Sept. 22, milder weather and the hints of autumn might be the perfect time to consider replacing your electric heat pump with a more energy efficient... Continue Reading >>

Take the time to unplug this summer


May 24, 2017   By Raechel Blitchington, Summer Intern in Reduce The Use

Does this look like an “energy vampire” to you? If you leave it plugged in after charging your device, it is. For example, only 5 percent of the power drawn by cellphone chargers are actually used to charge phones. The other 95 percent is wasted when you leave it plugged into the wall, but not into your phone. What do to? Unplug your charger when you are not using it or plug everything on a power strip and turn the switch off.

Summer is almost upon us. The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the feeling of summer freedom is within reach. There is no season better suited for de-stress and distraction, so plan your vacations, sip your boat drink and relax. Or better yet, turn off your brain and unplug your mind.

However, despite the countless joys of summer, there is one shortcoming of the season: higher than normal power bills. When an ice cold sweet tea and a dive into Lake Moultrie can’t cool you down, blasting the air conditioning throughout the long, hot day may seem like the only option.

While cranking the a/c can be unavoidable, there is a simple trick to balance out your electricity bill: unplugging.

Although this time, it’s not about beach days and cocktails. I’m talking about unplugging the unused appliances scattered around your home. Between the toaster, DVR, hair straighter and phone charger, you can accumulate a hefty bill... Continue Reading >>

10 ways to save in 2017


December 28, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in winter to save energy and money.

With U.S. shoppers averaging $752 on Christmas gifts this year ( statista.com ), your wallet may be feeling a bit too light these days. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, let’s explore 10 easy ways to save some cash in 2017 by saving energy .

10. LED holiday lights : Now that Christmas is over, everything red and green has been slashed by up to 75 percent. This is the perfect time to replace old bulbs with strings of energy efficient LEDs.

9. Turn off the lights: By turning off the lights, especially those hot spotlights, when you’re not in a room or don’t need them, you can shave a little off your electric bill.

8. Better yet, switch to LEDs:  According to Energy.gov , ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20 to 25 percent of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.

7. Install weather strips:  For a few bucks, you can install weather strips around your windows to minimize... Continue Reading >>

On the hunt for holiday LEDs on the cheap


December 21, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

Strings of holiday LEDs are at bargain prices after Christmas, and LEDs can save up to 80 percent in energy costs.

I’m a bargain hunter. Why pay retail this time of year when you can do some bargain hunting and save money, sometimes 50 percent or more?

Although Black Friday, Cyber Monday and pre-holiday sales have come and gone for another year, there are some real deals beginning the day after Christmas when it comes to holiday lighting in general – and energy efficient LEDs in particular.

In my hunting expeditions, I’ve found the LED “happy hunting ground” happens to be two of the big-name pharmacy chains. These stores mark down the multicolored and white strings of 50 to 100 lights (or more) that didn’t make it to consumers’ hearths, wreaths and trees this year. It’s like an Island of Misfit Lights, instead of an Island of Misfit Toys. And when you use them for the first time, you’ll feel like these lights are shining all the brighter because they cost you less.

Although your neighbors, and... Continue Reading >>