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Follow the Energy Star to savings!


April 28, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

 

When you go shopping for a major appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, washer or TV, or an even bigger purchase such as a heat pump, do you take the extra step to make sure they’re Energy Star qualified?

If you do, you’re among the millions of people who have embraced this federal program instituted in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-qualified appliances use electricity more efficiently, saving you money on your power bill. Even if the Energy Star product costs a little more up front, it will typically pay for itself over time, often with dramatic results. Check out www.energystar.gov.

Energy Star has an impressive track record. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from the time Energy Star came on the national scene, “...families and businesses have realized savings of more than $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over... Continue Reading >>

10 Ways to Save Energy this Spring


March 09, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

Use window treatments strategically in the spring to brighten your home without heating it up.

Spring is almost officially in the air and the pollen … well, it's starting to appear everywhere. The temperature is rising, but that doesn't mean your electric bill has to coincide.

Check out these 10 tips for saving energy while staying cool this spring:

Use Natural Ventilation. Open windows and doors and let the fresh air in when the temperature and humidity are ideal. Is there anything better than free cooling on a warm spring day? Use a fan. Supplement fresh air with purposefully placed fans. Fans cool people not your home, so remember to turn them off when you leave the room. Stay in the dark. Close your blinds and curtains during the warmest and sunniest part of the day. Keeping the heat out is as important as keeping the cool in. Seal it up. Add caulking or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around your windows and doors. This is an easy, simple and inexpensive way to keep the muggy heat at bay. Adjust as needed. Invest in a... Continue Reading >>

Winter Energy Conservation Tips That Could Save You Money


January 13, 2016   By Guest Contributor in Reduce The Use

Visit www.reducetheuse.com for more energy-saving tips from Santee Cooper.

The following was written by guest contributor Kate McCabe. McCabe is an engineer in Santee Cooper's Career Foundation program. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in May 2015 with a degree in electrical engineering.

As the ball dropped to ring in the New Year, unfortunately, so did the temperatures. With cold weather creeping in, you may be feeling the impact on more than just your clothing choices. Cold weather can also drive up your power bill if you're not paying attention. Here are some tips to help both you and your wallet stay bundled up this winter.

Let the Sun Shine!

Open the blinds over your south-facing windows during the day and allow the natural sunlight to flood the room! Mother Nature can help heat your home for free! At night, be sure to close the blinds to help block out the cold.

Speaking of windows, check them for drafts . Inspect your doors, too. There are many products on the market that... Continue Reading >>

Holiday Energy-Saving Tips


December 02, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Reduce The Use

According to ENERGY STAR, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-ft strings.

There are only 23 more days until the jolly old elf comes to visit. Yes, the holiday season is definitely upon us. With dazzling lights adorning your doorway, festive feasts filling your oven, and wavering weather patterns and temperatures, the holidays can make a dent in your budget if you're not energy savvy.

With that in mind, I'd like to share some easy no-cost, low-cost, low-stress ways you can save energy during the holidays.

If you're in the market for new strands of lights, opt for energy efficient LEDs. They last longer, have brilliant colors, are cool to the touch and could save you up to 90 percent off your decorative lighting energy costs. Timers and photocells are great at helping control holiday lighting. If you don't use timers, don't forget to unplug your lights before turning in for the night. Cook holiday dishes in the microwave. A typical microwave will use up to 75 percent less energy than a conventional oven. Use a slow... Continue Reading >>

Expose Energy Vampires to the Light of Day


November 04, 2015   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

If left plugged in, chargers for gadgets like smartphones and tablets can still nibble away at your power bill even when they aren't in use.

Halloween might be over, but you still need to be on the lookout for those pesky little energy vampires that are lurking in your home.

You won't find them dressed in black cloaks or sporting a pair of fangs, but they will be disguised as everyday items that suck the electricity from your home while running up your electric bill. It's something electric utilities call "phantom power" or " standby power ."

Consider your mobile phone charger; most of us have a few plugged in at home whether or not we're charging our devices. Believe it or not, these kinds of gadgets are still consuming tiny amounts of electricity when they're not in use, and it can add up across an entire household. Other electronics like cable boxes, digital video recorders, game consoles and stereos will also take a bite out of your bill — sometimes as much as 10 percent or more — even when they're in standby mode.

If you are like me and despise paying for... Continue Reading >>