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Energy Savings For Your Home

In order to reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption, and fuel costs, Chugach assists members in making informed decisions regarding energy efficiency and conservation methods. Let us help you save energy and save money.


Current Programs & Tools

Kill-A-Watt EZ Meter Program

Chugach members may borrow a "Kill-A-Watt" wattage meter for up to two weeks to monitor the power consumption of their home appliances and devices. The meters come pre-programmed with Chugach's current kilowatt hour rate. Any home electrical device, using a standard 120 volt plug, can be inserted into the "Kill-A-Watt" meter to determine the actual and projected cost of the device on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

These easy-to-use devices help inform both kids and adults how much their appliances and devices add to their electric bill. Great for understanding your vampire or phantom load, the devices that still draw electricity even when they are "off": TVs, DVRs, stereos, and more.

To check out a 'Kill-A-Watt' meter today, call Chugach's Member Services at 563-7366 or e-mail service@chugachelectric.com to find out how you can borrow a wattage meter.

CFL Recycling Program

Bring your unbroken compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to the Chugach lobby and we’ll properly recycle them for you. Note: Chugach does not take tube-type fluorescent lamps.


Tips & Resources

Ways to Save

 

 

Home Energy Assessment

Get a home energy assessment today! Hundreds of Alaskans do it every year, have you? The avearge homeowner saves $1,347 a year after making the recommended changes and recoups their initial investment within four years. Want to start today? Click here for more information.

Natural Lighting

 

 

Use Natural Light During the Day

 

 

Increase the amount of natural light that enters your home to reduce your need for artificial lighting. Using shutters, horizontal blinds, and skylights, you can naturally light your home to save energy and lower your lighting costs.

Cable Boxes

Power down your cable or DVR box when it's not in use

Why?

Most set-top boxes in homes today continuously operate at near full power, even when no one is actively watching or recording a show. Households with one HD DVR and a second HD set-top box may use more than 440 kWh per year on these devices alone — that’s more electricity than it takes to run a new, average-size ENERGY STAR® refrigerator.

How?

Plugging your set-top box, television, and other home theater equipment into the same power strip and then turning that power strip off when you're not using the TV will save you on energy costs.

 

Calculate

Winter Tips

Resource List

 * Looking for more information about energy efficiency?

 * Trying to find recycling locations?

 * Needing energy assistance?

 

Click here for a list of resources and contact information.

Water Heaters

FREE Tips

Looking for FREE energy efficiency suggestions for the winter? Check out the ways below to keep your money in your pocket while still minimizing your energy consumption.  

WELCOME THE RAYS:  As we gain more daylight, open the blinds and let the sun heat your home for free.  Just remember to close them once the sun has set!

MOVE THE COUCH: Have you always had the couch under the window? Well, it may be time to rearrange your furniture. Move common furniture items away from drafty windows and warm up while sitting near an interior wall. If you’re warm, you are less likely to reach for the thermostat.

INSPECT THE FIREPLACE: Is your fireplace damper closed?  If not, you’re most likely spending money to heat up the outdoors - heated air is pulled out of the house and up the chimney.

High-Efficiency Products

TopTenUsa.org is a nonprofit organization that independently reviews appliances, electronics, cars and lighting to identify the most energy conscious products on the market.  Is also tells you where you can buy these products, based on your ZIP code, saving you valuable time and gas money while shopping.  Whether you’re considering a new refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, computer monitor, television, or car, visit TopTenUSA.org to kick-start your energy saving purchases.

 

Lighting

Do you want to save 75% on your lighting costs? Switch to CFLs or LEDs

If you are still using traditional incandescent filament light bulbs, they are costing you 75-80% more to operate than other lighting options available today.  Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diode bulbs (LEDs) are two alternatives, readily available on store shelves, that use significantly less energy.  

A CFL equivalent to a 100 Watt Incandescent uses only 25 Watts, a 60 Watt equivalent, only 13 Watts.  CFLs have become extremely cost effective at $1-$5 per bulb, paying for themselves in a matter of months.  Savings from LED bulbs can be even greater with even lower wattages than CFLs and longer lifespans.  Many people have switched over to these alternatives and are now enjoying the savings in every bill.  Have you?

For more information, check out this great lighting
infographic!

 

Block Heaters

Plug @ 20? Three hours is all it takes

Using your vehicle's head bolt heater when temperatures plunge below 20 degrees is a good idea. It helps keep our community's air clean and vehicles in good working order. It can also save gasoline by reducing idle time. 

Head bolt heaters are commonly called "block heaters" because they essentially warm an automobile's engine block. Warming the engine also warms the motor oil and lubricant to make for cleaner, easier starts. To be effective, block heaters need only be used for two hours minimum and three hours maximum. Any less than two hours may not be enough to warm the engine block and fluids sufficiently. Any more than three hours wastes energy and offers no additional benefit to your vehicle.

Block heaters consume between 500-1,500 watts depending on the size of the vehicle or size of the engine. A 1,000-watt block heater plugged in for three hours will use 40 cents worth of electricity, based on Chugach's residential rate. However, this initial cost may save you many times over in fuel and maintenance by reduced wear and tear on your vehicle.

However, if the block heater were to be plugged in for 6 hours, twice as long as necessary, cost also doubles to 80 cents. If tripled or plugged in for 9 hours, an overnight period, the cost rises to $1.20, quickly cutting in on any fuel or maintenance savings.

Consider using a heavy-duty outdoor timer to manage your head bolt heater's electrical consumption and use. They are available at most home improvement stores for $15-$20 and will quickly pay for themselves by helping manage your electrical use.

Clothes Dryers

Clothes dryers:  air flow is key to efficiency

Several factors can restrict the flow of air in your clothes dryer, increasing dry times and cost of operating your appliance. Follow these easy tips to ensure your dryer's best performance, lowest operating cost and safety:

  1. Remove lint from screen filter every load.
  2. Scrub lint screen twice a year with warm soapy water to remove fabric softener residue. Fabric softeners leave a waxy residue on the lint screen that can restrict air flow. This is especially true of dryer sheets.
  3. Clean out lint screen receptacle with narrow vacuum attachment or brush.
  4. Locate your dryer's exhaust vent outside your home, open the damper, reach in with vacuum wand or long brush to remove lint, debris and bugs
  5. Check for kinks or bends in exhaust ducting behind the dryer and in crawlspaces. Kinks in ducts can significantly restrict airflow.

These tips not only help save money, but can also help prevent fire and appliance break-down.

Phantoms and Vampires

Switch off to $ave: Beware of 'Phantoms and Vampires' in your home

Electricity powers the activities in our lives now more than ever - including power for telecommunications, information systems and entertainment. Computers, laptops, tablets, gaming systems, high-definition televisions, smart devices, cell phones, enhanced sound systems and other devices have become integral to daily life.

Each of these devices require power - and many require standby power. For example, a digital video recorder (DVR) and set-top cable or satellite box are both operated by remote control and are prepared to record program data even when "off". According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the combination of a DVR and set-top box can use as much electricity as a new refrigerator, more than 400 kilowatt-hours per year. Often these devices appear to be off, but are still in standby mode which allows them to receive signals from remote controls and data from cable or satellite networks. This standby power load is referred to as "phantom load" and the devices as "energy vampires". According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 6-10 percent of a home's electrical consumption can be attributed to phantom load.

Manufacturers are beginning to make more efficient electronic devices. Consider purchasing Energy Star electronics for their low operating costs. In the meantime, use the switch on power strips or simply unplug your devices when not in use to completely eliminate standby costs.

Forced-Air Heating

Heating Season is Here, Furnace Owners Prepare

September marks the end of summer and the start of the home heating season. In Alaska, up to 58 percent of a home's total energy consumption can be attributed to space heating, making this an important month to prepare your heating system for increased use. If you have a forced-air heating system, there is one simple step you can take to help ensure efficient, healthy and trouble-free operation: change your filters regularly.

Have extra filters on hand so you are ready to change them when needed. Filters range in price from $3-$20 per filter and are available at most home improvement stores. Check your filter. If it looks dirty change it, then repeat every one to three months.

Refrigerators & Freezers

Refrigerators, freezers and other appliances can add up to 15-30 percent of your home's energy consumption. These easy, no-cost tips only take minutes to complete and will keep your appliances operating at their best. These steps will help save you money while keeping your food fresh.

Seal it tight.

Dirt, grime and crumbs can prevent your door from sealing tight. Use a mild cleaning product and sponge to ensure a tight seal, keeping cold air in and warm air out.

Let it breath.

Remove dust and pet hair from your condenser coils and radiator fins located behind or underneath your appliance. A vacuum cleaner or narrow soft brush will do the job.

Allow a 3 to 4 inch gap around your appliance to ensure proper air flow around the condenser and motor which helps to keep it cool.

Keep it full.

A full fridge and freezer operates more efficiently than an empty one. Once cold, food products help keep the inside of the appliance cold too.

Time to Upgrade?

Are your appliances aging? If so, consider replacing them with new Energy Star appliances. The savings may surprise you.

Visit www.EnergyStar.gov or your local appliance distributor to learn more.


Alaska-based Energy Saving Programs


National Energy Saving Programs


Questions? Need more information?

Contact an Energy Specialist at (907) 762-4323, or send an e-mail to save_energy@chugachelectric.com.