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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 >>

Tune up as the leaves fall


October 21, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Reduce The Use

Autumn is the perfect time to tune up your heat pump. 

I love fall. I love the blazing colors of leaves against blue skies. I love that it’s chilly in the morning, warm and inviting during the day, and back to chilly in the evening. I love the smell of campfires. I also love that my electric bill usually begins to fall.

Watching your bill shrink from the higher payments of summer – especially during a hot summer when using your air conditioning 24/7 – shouldn’t make you lazy about saving energy, though.

One of the first things you should put on your energy saving list is to have your heat pump tuned up. If you’re like me, you had your air conditioning pumping out cool air for the past 4 to 5 months. Now is the time, before the first frost, to make sure it will get you through the winter. Plus, a heat pump that is running efficiently will save you money on your electric bill.

Santee Cooper works with a number of Trade Allies in Berkeley, Georgetown and... Continue Reading >>

The teatime torrent


September 09, 2015   By Kevin F. Langston in Reduce The Use
The British soap opera " Eastenders " has been on the air since 1985 and rates as one of the British Broadcasting Corporation's most popular programs. It has an average audience share of 30 percent per episode, which means three out of every 10 televisions in the United Kingdom is tuned to "Eastenders" five nights a week. I'm not sure there's an American equivalent, really.

Why am I telling you this? Because if there's one thing the British love more than televised melodrama it's tea. And when that latest episode of "Eastenders" ends, approximately 1.75 million kettles are switched on at the same time.

Known as the " TV pickup ," it's become such a national routine that the British National Grid has taken measures over the years to ensure it can handle the additional 3 gigawatts of temporary demand; there's even a hydroelectric plant in Wales whose primary purpose is to absorb some of it.

Santee Cooper also has supplemental generating... Continue Reading >>