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Pacific Gas & Energy Energy Checklist

Look around your home and check off the practices below that apply to you. Also listed for some tips are the possible energy savings for each practice. Read this list over carefully, share it with your family and put it up somewhere around the house where it will remind everyone to practice these money-saving recommendations.

NOTE: These are typical savings for the typical household. The savings percentages apply only to the category of energy use. For example, using fluorescent lamps saves 30 to 38 percent of your lighting bill, not your total electric bill. The figures cannot be added to find your total savings.

Winter Tips

In the heating season, set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during the day, health permitting. Keep warm indoors by wearing warm clothing, especially several light-weight layers. Savings: 5-10 percent of space heating costs.

In the heating season, set your thermostat back to 55 degrees before you to bed at night or when you'll be away from home for more than four hours, health permitting. (Heat pumps should only be set back five degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heater.) Savings: 5-20 percent of space heating costs.
Use insulating shutters or drapes and keep them closed during winter nights and summer days. Savings: 8-15 percent of space heating costs.

Plug gaps around pipes, ducts, fans and vents that go through walls, ceilings and floors from heated to unheated spaces. Savings: 1-3 percent of space heating costs.

Keep your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted. And remember to clean or replace the filter regularly. Savings: Up to 5 percent of space heating costs.

Turn your heater(s) down when you're using your fireplace. and don't forget to close the damper when you're not using the fireplace. Savings: 2-8 percent of space heating costs.

Close off heating or cooling to rooms and areas that don't need it, if your home has zoned or individual room controls. Savings: Up to 10 percent of space heating costs.

For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5% on heating costs. PG&E recommends turning your thermostat down to 68 degrees during the day, 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time.

Install clock thermostats or set-back thermostats to automatically change thermostat settings at certain times of the day. For example, set your clock thermostat at 55 degrees or off for the night and 68 degrees for the time right before you awake.

Check your furnace periodically. First, turn off the power source. Then visually inspect the furnace and vacuum away lint, dirt or other obstructions. Be sure the filters are cleaned or replaced as necessary. Dirty filters reduce air flow and make your furnace work harder.

Use passive solar heating on sunny days. Open the drapes on windows facing south and let the sun shine in. Then at night, close the drapes to retain indoor heat. If you have a large expanse of glass that doesn't receive direct sun, keep the drapes closed. Up to 16% of your heat can escape through unprotected windows.

For more information, call PG&E's Smarter Energy Line at 1-800- 933-9555.

Summer Tips

In the cooling season, set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when you're at home. Savings: 10-20 percent of cooling costs.

When you're away from home during the cooling season, set your air conditioner at 85 degrees. Savings: 5-12 percent of cooling costs.

Provide shading for your air conditioning condenser. Savings: 2-3 percent of cooling costs.
Use exterior shading devices or deciduous plants to shade your home and windows from the sun. Savings: Up to 8 percent of cooling costs.

Turn off your furnace pilot light during the non-heating season. Savings: 3-9 percent of cooling costs.
Close off heating or cooling to rooms and areas that don't need it, if your home has zoned or individual room controls. Savings: Up to 10 percent of cooling costs.

Swimming Pools

Keep pool cleaning and heating equipment clean and lubricated.
Reduce pool water temperature and the number of months you heat your pool.
Switch pool filter and sweeper operations to off-peak hours, if you are on PG&E's Time-Of-Use Rate (TOU). This optional rate can save you money if you can shift your appliance use to off-peak hours. Off-peak hours are between 6 p.m. and noon weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday. Savings depend on your use.
Shorten the operating time for your swimming pool filter and automatic cleaning sweep (if your pool has one). For winter, two hours a day of filtering could cut your filter's energy use by 40% to 50%, yet keep your pool clean.
Pool covers save energy and money. 70% of pool heat loss is by evaporation.
For more information, call PG&E's Smarter Energy Line at 1-800- 933-9555.

Anytime Tips

Plug any leaks in your heating or cooling system ducts. Also fix leaks in water/steam heat pipes. Savings: 2-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Insulate attic access and basement trap doors with R-19 insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Use clear plastic sheets to insulate windows during the heating season. Savings: 2-7 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Repair any holes in your roof, walls, doors, ceilings, windows and floors. Savings: Up to 10 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Seal off electric receptacles and switch boxes with foam gaskets or fiberglass insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees, or 140 degrees if you have a dishwasher. Savings: 7-11 percent of water heating costs.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets or flow restrictors. Try to reduce your hot water use in other ways, too. Savings: 5-10 percent of water heating costs.

Washer: Use cold water when possible. Wash full loads.

Dryer: Line-dry clothes (especially towels) whenever you can. When you use your dryer, dry full loads.

Refrigerator/Freezer: Open doors only when necessary and keep the coils (on the back or the bottom of the appliance) clean.

Dishwasher: Always wash full loads and air-dry dishes on the "energy saver" setting.
Select the most energy-efficient model when buying a new appliance. Savings: 5-25 percent of operating costs.

Use dimmer switches or timers on lights. Savings: 7-10 percent of lighting costs.

Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent lamps. Savings: 30-38 percent of lighting costs.

Turn off lights whenever they're not needed. Savings depend on your current energy practices.

If you install a time clock so your electric water heater operates only during off-peak hours, you can save even more if you are on PG&E's Time-Of-Use Rate (TOU). This optional rate can save you money if you can shift your appliance use to off-peak hours. Off-peak hours are between 6 p.m. and noon weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday. Savings depend on your use.

You can cut your heating costs up to 25% simply by installing proper ceiling insulation to at least R-19 standards. Insulate walls, floors and heating ducts, too. This insulation will not only keep heat from escaping, but will also make your home more comfortable.

By caulking and weather-stripping, you can cut your heating bills up to 10%. Weather-strip doors and windows, and caulk air leaks around windows, door frames, pipes and ducts.

Install storm or thermal windows. These tightly fitting windows give the benefit of double-pane glass. Air trapped between the two panes acts as a thermal insulator, keeping your heated air inside where it belongs.

Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it's in an unheated area of your home. The blanket could save you up to 10% on water heating costs.

Install energy-saving showerheads in your home. You'll reduce hot water use and cut water costs by 10% to 16% without affecting comfort.

Turn off lights whenever they are not needed, even for one second. This applies to fluorescent lighting also.

Convert incandescent bulbs to fluorescent lamps with screw-in bases. Fluorescent lamps can give the same amount and quality of light as incandescent bulbs, yet use one-third the amount of energy and last ten times longer.

Prevent heat loss and reduce your waterbed's electric use up to 20% by covering it with bedspreads or quilts as soon as you get up. A layer of cardboard between the bed and the frame will also insulate your waterbed against further heat loss.

Unplug your extra refrigerator if it's used mainly for occasional cold drinks or ice cubes. You could reduce your annual energy bill by as much as $175 by doing so.

Don't preheat your oven, and use the smaller of the two ovens if you have a dual unit. Cook complete meals of several dishes simultaneously in the oven.

Cook on rangetop burners when practical instead of in the oven.

If you have a microwave oven, use it for reheating and cooking small quantities of food.

Operate your dishwasher only with full loads. And if the manufacturer's instructions permit, open the door of the dishwasher at the end of the last rinse cycle, rather than using the drying cycle.
For more information, call PG&E's Smarter Energy Line at 1-800- 933-9555.

       Source:   P G & E Web Page