Guide to Saving Energy and Water

Guide to Saving Energy and Water

Conservation: Where do I begin? This is a common question asked by many individuals. As energy consumes a larger share of their operating costs and disposable income, they continue to ask, "Where do I begin to start saving energy and managing costs?" Our response is, "It begins with you." And we have the tools to get you there, through day-to-day choices and investments in energy-saving products.

One of the first places to start is water heating. Most people are surprised to learn that the second largest energy consumer in the home, after heating and cooling, is water heating. Water heating uses 15%–25% of the average home's total energy. Clothes washing and showering are the primary water and energy using activities in a home. This is a great place to start saving because some minor changes that are fairly easy to make can have a noticeable impact on energy and water usage.

Here are some ideas for your action plan to address the question, "Where do I begin to save water and energy in my home?"

  • Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Reduce the water temperature to the lowest possible setting that still provides sufficient hot water. For every 10°F reduction in water temperature, water heating energy consumption can be reduced by 3%–5%.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Order your free Water Savings Kit if you have an electric water heater.
  • Install a drain water heat recovery (DWHR) system and qualify for a $400 rebate if you have an electric water heater. DWHR systems transfer heat from drain water that comes out of the shower or dishwasher to preheat your incoming cold water in the tank. This can save up to 40% on electric water heating costs.
  • Wash clothes in cold water as much as possible.
  • Insulate pipes and water heater tank. (more tips)
  • Request a Home Energy Analysis.
  • Participate in Triple E/ New Construction to optimize the energy efficiency of your home.
  • Wash your clothes and dishes in ENERGY STAR® clothes washers and dishwashers to save energy and water.

Remember, you have the power to determine how you use energy. Create your own water- and energy-saving action plan.

*The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense Program estimates that the average American household wastes 10,000 gallons each year while waiting for hot water to get to the tap. It is estimated that for every five to ten gallons you let go down the drain waiting for hot water results in 1 kWh of lost energy. This also impacts local sewage and water costs. Research has suggested that wasted water could be reduced by 90% if homes addressed plumbing design, pipe insulation, re-circulation pump systems, and drain water heat recovery.

Questions on Energy Conservation?

Phone: 218-355-2843
Sign up for our Energy Team emails here