Energy Efficiency

Heating in the Winter

• Set thermostats no higher than 72ºF when people are home. You save about 1% to 3% on your heating bill for every 1º that you lower the thermostat setting. For example, if you keep your thermostat set at 75ºF all the time, and you lower it by 3º to 72ºF, you will save about 3% to 9% (on your heating bill), or about 9 cents for every dollar you spend on heating costs. The longer the temperature adjustment period, the more you save.
• Lower the thermostat when you sleep. Lowering the thermostat from 72ºF to 65ºF or lower at night will save another approximately 7 cents for every heating dollar you spend. Some people turn their thermostats down to 60º at night or when sleeping to save even more energy.
• To ensure the heat gets to where it is suppose to, use mastic or foil-faced tape to seal the seams and any cracks in air handling ducts. This helps stop leaks and conditioned air from escaping.
• Have the heating system serviced each year to ensure efficient operation.
• Clean or replace furnace filters. Dirty filters reduce the heating ability of the furnace or heating system and waste valuable fuel. Clean or replace the filter(s) as directed by the manufacturer.
• Do not place furniture and curtains over or around registers or in front of cold air return, as it will block the airflow.
• Put on a sweater or warmer clothing for comfort and lower the thermostat even more. Layer clothing. Closed or tighter cuffs and collars help to retain body heat.
• Never use the stove for additional heat—it is dangerous. Besides causing a fire hazard, fumes given off by combustion can result in increased carbon monoxide levels.
• On sunny days, open blinds, shades, and curtains, especially if your windows face south. At night, close the blinds, shades, and curtains to help keep heat in your home.


• During the day, keep window shades or blinds down and closed. In the evening and early morning, open windows if it is cooler and less humid outdoors.
• Turn the air conditioning control to higher temperatures if no one is home for a period of about 8 hours or more.
• Use overhead fans and turn up the air conditioner. Ceiling fans used with air conditioning will allow you to raise the thermostat by as much as 4ºF and still feel comfortable. On milder days, turn off the air conditioner and use the fans.
• Plant trees (those that shed their leaves) around the exterior of your home to shade windows in the summer. Use trees or awnings to shade the east and west windows of your home. Trees help keep your home cooler and the surrounding exterior surfaces cooler.

Air Conditioners

• Window air conditioners have an energy efficiency rating—EER for short. Buy an air conditioner with an EER of at least a 12 or higher. Although window air conditioners with EERs higher than 12 usually cost a little more, you will recapture this cost by using less electricity over time. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label and the yellow EnergyGuide label for information on energy use for comparisons.
• When purchasing central air conditioners, purchase a unit with a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 14.0 or higher. Buy the most efficient air conditioning system you can afford.
• Buy the correct size window or central air conditioner for the square footage of your home. If the air conditioner is too large, it won't operate efficiently, and it will use more energy.
• Remove and clean the filter every month or as directed.
• If possible, put the window air conditioner units in a window that faces north or is shaded.
• Have the cooling system serviced each year to ensure efficient operation.

Windows and Doors

• Close and lock all windows and doors. Close exterior sliding storm windows. Locking doors and windows creates at tighter seal and reduces air leaks.
• Stop air leaks under doors. Use draft stopper or towels to block air coming in under doors from the outdoors. For a more permanent solution, buy a quality door sweep to attach to the bottom of the door. Repair or replace threshold gaskets. If the door leaks around the entire door opening, install weatherstripping between the door and the frame.
• Weatherstrip the moving parts of the door and windows. Choose a more durable product to avoid early replacement. Products are made for the channels or window glides, for the window bottom, and for use where double hung windows meet.
• Use a paintable caulk to caulk around the window frame where the interior window frame meets the wall. Use an appropriate caulk for the materials on the exterior when the window frame meets the house siding (exterior wall). This prevents air leaks and air currents into the wall itself.
• Use blinds, shades, and lined curtains or draperies to reduce heat loss in the winter and block heat gain during the summer. If your curtains or draperies aren’t lined, use a sheet or purchase tightly woven heavier fabric. Create a casing on the top end and attach to a second rod behind the window treatment.
• Install awnings, window shades, or window films to block the summer sunlight.


• If you have a water heater set at 140º F, turn the temperature down to 120º F (medium setting on a gas heater dial), and you’ll cut your water heating costs by 6 to 10 percent. For exceptionally soiled clothing, diapers, or when someone is ill, you may want to turn it back up when laundering their items. Some water heaters use a timer control to manage the water temperature - much like automatic thermostats manage the heating or cooling temperature for your home.
• Turn the water heater down further if you are away for an extended time.
• Insulate the hot and cold water pipes at the water heater for at least 6 to 10 feet. Insulate all exposed water pipes for even more efficiency to prevent heat loss and heat gain.
• Front loading washers are usually more energy efficient than top loaders. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and/or Water Wise logos when purchasing new.
• Install low-flow faucets and shower heads, and take shorter showers.
• Fix faucet leaks. One drip can waste up to 48 gallons of water a week and waste energy from hot water.

Range and Oven

• Use the microwave when possible. The microwave uses less energy, and does not need to be preheated.
• Use the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking to reduce moisture problems and pollutants.
• Use lids on pans and pans that fit a burner reduce heat lost.


• Refrigerators cost about $5 to $8 or more per month to operate, and consume 3 to 5 percent of your total home energy use. Keep the refrigerator at 36º to 38º F and the freezer at 0º F.
• Check the gasket (soft, plastic piece that seals the door to the body of the refrigerator) for gaps and improper fit. The door should close firmly against the gasket. Check the tightness of the door by placing a dollar bill between the gasket and the door. You should feel a slight drag when you pull it out.
• Do not place an oven or heating appliance close to a refrigerator, as the refrigerator will have to work harder to keep items cool. Do not put refrigerators in unconditioned rooms such as garages or porches. Turn off, clean, and unplug seldom used refrigerators.
• Try to keep the door open no longer than necessary. Vacuum coils and keep drain trays clean.


• Run the dishwasher only when it's full.
• Many dishwashers have energy-saving settings, such as a setting for partial loads (which use less hot water) or energy efficient drying cycles.

Washer and Dryer

• Use hot water only for very dirty clothes and diapers, and if there is an illness in the family or someone has a suppressed immune system. Refer to the washing instructions on the clothing labels and on the washing machine. Wash in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.•
Full loads of laundry in the washer save both energy and water. Adjust water levels for smaller loads.
• Clean the lint from the dryer's filter after every load.
• Operate the dryer like the washer: don't overload it. Overloading uses excess energy, because the items take longer to dry. Hang items to dry outside if possible.


• Use screw-in compact fluorescent lamps/lightbulbs (CFLs) suited to the location and fixture. Carefully read the labels to choose the right bulb for the use.
• Turn off lights when rooms are not occupied. Use natural light as much as possible.
• Use one higher wattage bulb instead of several lower watt bulbs when possible. A 100-watt bulb gives off about 20% more light than two 60-watt bulbs. Do not use a higher wattage in a light fixture than is recommended.
• Dust light bulbs. Dusty bulbs can emit 20% less light.
• Use fluorescent fixtures and bulbs. They use about ¼ of the energy of an incandescent bulb for the same amount of light. They now are available in various shapes and for several types of fixtures, interior and exterior locations, for motion sensors and dimmable lights. The fluorescent bulbs need to be vented to avoid heat build up. Avoid putting them in closed fixtures.

Small Appliances and Electronics

• Disconnect unnecessary or unused equipment.
• Completely power down or shut off electronics such as your computer, TV, and printer when not in use.
• Use a power strip to completely shut off the power supply to electronic equipment. Ready-on features, clocks, and other devices continue to use power even in the off position.
• Unplug chargers when power tools, phones, computers, and other items are fully charged, as chargers will continue to use electricity when plugged in.

The average family is looking for ways to lower their power bill. While there's not much any of us can do about the rising cost of fuel and energy, we are in control of our own usage. There are many ways to use energy more wisely, using simple, back-to-the-basics methods to cut our monthly power bills by up to 25%.

We invite you to join us in our efforts to conserve energy by becoming an active participant in Conserve101, our new energy efficiency and conservation program. Conserve101 is designed to educate you on simple, non-intrusive techniques that will help lower your monthly electric consumption. Most techniques are no-cost or low-cost but can have measureable impacts on your power bill. 

To find out more please visit the Conserve101 website, the video below gives you a basic introduction to energy conservation.


What Uses WATTS

To calculate cost per month, take the suggested KWh/Mo usage times your KWh cost.

Kitchen Appliance Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.
BBQ Grill 1350 6 8.1
Bread Maker 210 8 1.68
Broiler 390 3 1.2
Coffee Maker 900 50 45
Deep Fat Frier 1450 5 7.3
Dishwasher(incl water heating cost) 1200 30 36
Electric Skillet 1200 13 15.6
Hot Plate 600 6 4
Microwave 1450 15 21.8
Range 12500 8 100
Range-Cleaning Cycle 4500 3 13.5
Roaster 1330 13 17.3
Slow Cooker 200 24 4.8
Toaster 1150 3 3.5
Waste Disposer 450 7 3.2



Food Storage Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.

Refrigerator *

      Manual Defrost




      Frost-Free     75-175
      Side-by-Side     120-250


     Manual Defrost



     Frost-Free     85-175

*(wattage and hours of run time for refrigerators and freezers
vary widely due to age, location, frequency of maintenance,
& their energy efficiency rating)


Home Entertainment Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.
Radio 70 100 7
Stereo 150 70 10.5

Television (8 hours per day)

     19” Solid State

200 240 48
     25” Solid State 250 240 60
     27” w/picture tube 200 240 48
     42” Plasma Integrated HDTV 450 240 108
     60” HDTV Monitor Plasma Disp 650 240 156
DVD, Game Boys, VCR 100 60 6
Personal Computer (6 hrs/day) 125 180 22.5
Color Monitor (6 hrs/day) 75 180 13.5
Dot Matrix Printer (6 hrs/day) 50 180 9
Laser Printer (6 hrs/day) 400 180 72
Aquarium-20 gal 70 720 50



Lighting Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.
60-watt Bulb 60 120 7.2
100-watt Bulb 100 120 12
Two 8-Foot 65-watt Fluor.Tubes 130 120 15.6
Two 4-Foot 35-watt Fluor.Tubes 70 120 8.4
70-watt Sodium 70 300 21
175-watt Mercury Vapor 175 300 52.5
250-watt Heat Lamp 250 720 180



Farm and Miscellaneous Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.

Water Pump

    1/3 hp

333 60 20
     1.5 hp 1500 60 90
Garage Door Opener 800 12 9.6

Engine Block Heater


500 240 120
      800-watt 1000 240 240
     1500-watt 1500 240 360
2500-watt (diesel engine) 2500 240 600
6’ Heat Tape (8 watts/ft) 48 720 34.6


General  Household Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.

WaterHeater  (personaluse  only)







   2people-900galpermonth 4500   297
   3people-1350galpermonth 4500   374
   4people-1800galpermonth     4500   450
   5people-2250galpermonth     4500   548
   6people-2700galpermonth     4500   650
ClothesDryer(5loadsperweek)   5000 20 100

ClothesWasher(5loadsperweek Including  water heater cost)


5000                         20 100
   Warm/Warmsetting 5000 20 70
   Warm/Cold  setting 5000 20 40
   Cold/Coldsetting 500 20 10
   Vacuum  Cleaner 630 6 3.8


Heating  and Cooling Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.


1500 240 360

AirConditioner(window type, 8 hours/day)

    6,000  btu/hr

800 240 192
    10,000  btu/hr 1350 240 324
    12,000  btu/hr 1600 240 384
AirCleaner(Ionizer) 70 720 50
Humidifier 120 120 14.4
Dehumidifier 600 360 216



   Ceiling(with lights)

180 360 130
   Ceiling(without lights) 60 360 43
   Window(20”)     18
Water bed  heater 400 300 120
Electric Blanket 10 240 24


Health and Beauty Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/ Mo.
BlowDryer 1500 2.5 3.8
HairCurler 400 7.5 3
Heat  Pad 65 30 2
Shaver 15 2.5 0.04
Sun  Lamp 280 15 4
HotTub (varies widely)   250-400
Tanning  Bed 2600 8.5 22


Farm and Miscellaneous Avg.Watts Hours/Mo.  kWh/Mo.
Aerated septic system 384 720 276
Tank Heater varies on location andnumber of livestock     40-300
Electric Fence (varies)   0 to 7
Grain Dryer(no heater)      
(varies  with weather & moisture removed)     1/bushel
    (with electric  heat)     2/bushel
(1/3 to 10-hp) 1000/horsepower   varies



Phantom Loads Avg.Watts Hours/Mo. kWh/Mo.
Cordless Drills 240 720 165
Instant on TV 28 720 20
VCR 14 720 20
Microwave Oven with Clock 8 720 6
Wall Cube Power Supply(AC Adaptor) 5 720 4
Stereo with Remote Control 8 720 6
Stove with Electronic Ignition 14 720 10



Above figures are averages and will vary with individual living habits and unit efficiencies.

(Total Wattage x Estimated Hours Per Day Used x 30) / 1,000 = Estimated Monthly kWh

*Energy Saving models carrying a higher EER rating would be on the lower side of the estimated usage.
Older models tend to be toward the higher side.
If you have any questions, call SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc.