A Guide to Saving Energy, Water & Money

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1 A Guide to Saving Energy, Water & Money

2 INTRODUCTION BGE HOME Will Show You How To Get The Most Energy For Your Dollar. The average family spends nearly $2,000 per year on energy bills. Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to save money on energy costs. Finding ways to save energy is easy; even small changes can make a difference. By simply turning off a light switch or adding weather stripping around a door, you will see energy savings. So take a moment to look around your home and through the following tips to see where you can conserve energy, save water and make environmentally responsible choices. Where Do Your Energy Dollars Go? Other represents an array of household products, including stoves, ovens, microwaves, and small appliances. Individually these provide more than about 2% of a household s energy bills. Source:

3 ENERGY SAVING CENTER Learn More At Our Energy Saving Center Our goal is to provide the resources you need to help reduce energy usage and save money, while being good to the environment. Let us show you how to make informed energy choices for you and your family. Visit our Energy Saving Center for a variety of interactive tools and energy-saving resources. Home Performance Energy Audit For the energy-conscious homeowner, sign up for our in-home energy audit. It s the whole house approach to identifying the sources that are negatively affecting the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Energy Saving Virtual Home Tour our virtual home for an array of facts and tips to help you save energy, conserve water and improve the comfort of your home. Online Home Energy Assessment Determine your home s approximate energy efficiency rating and receive personalized energy-saving recommendations by completing the Online Home Energy Assessment. Energy-Saving Products & Services Visit our online store for hundreds of do-it-yourself, energy-saving solutions or learn how our experts can help you maximize your energy dollar. Visit

4 HEATING & COOLING Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Comfort Approximately 45% of your overall energy usage is from heating and cooling your home. By ensuring your equipment is performing optimally and by improving the overall efficiency of your home, you can conserve energy. Install a Programmable Thermostat Programmable thermostats come with a variety of energy-saving schedules to fit your lifestyle, while saving you up to $180 per year in energy costs. Set the Temperature for Optimum Savings In the winter, set the thermostat at 70º F and turn it back to at least 62º F when away or asleep. In the summer, set it at 78º F and turn it up to at least 85º F when away and 82º F when asleep. Schedule a Heating & Cooling System Inspection Control energy costs by having your heating and cooling equipment inspected annually you will maximize the efficiency and extend the life of your equipment.

5 HEATING & COOLING Why a Higher Efficiency Rating Saves Money. Heating Efficiency Save: 10% 25% 32% 38% 41% 48% % savings based on the lowest rating Relative savings with a higher efficiency AFUE = Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency 55% 65% 80% 80%VS 90% 95% 96.6%VS VS = Variable Speed Technology Cooling Efficiency Save: 12% 19% 27% 33% 38% 42% 46% 49% 52% 55% 59% 60% 61% SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER SEER % savings based on the lowest rating SEER = Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio Relative savings with a higher efficiency Consider a Heating and Cooling System Upgrade If your equipment is over 10 years old, you may save up to 30% on energy consumption with a new high-efficiency system. Equipment with today s technology uses less energy to operate, saving you money. Improve Comfort with a Ceiling Fan Stay cool in the summer by operating the fan in a counter-clockwise direction. Reverse the direction and operate the fan at a low speed to circulate warm air in the winter.

6 HEATING & COOLING Seal & Insulate Exposed Ducts About 20% of conditioned air distributed through a duct system is lost. Seal duct connections and insulate exposed ducts to improve system performance. Don t Let the Air Escape Prevent the loss of conditioned air by sealing air leakage sites, like attics or around windows and doors. Also, regulate the use of exhaust fans a houseful of conditioned air can be blown out in just 2 3 hours. Avoid Emergency Cooling Setting the thermostat a lot lower than normal will not cool your house faster but it will waste energy. Increase Indoor Humidity in the Winter A humidifier can increase the relative humidity in your home, making the air feel warmer and allowing you to save energy by turning back the thermostat.

7 HEATING & COOLING Maximize Equipment Performance Keep the Filter Clean Dirty filters slow air flow through your system clean or replace filters every month to improve equipment efficiency. Clean the Condenser Coils For outside coils, turn the unit off, clear out the leaves or debris, then spray the coils with water at a low pressure. For inside coils, brush and vacuum the coils until clean. Keep Vents Clear of Obstructions Maximize air circulation by keeping air vents clear of obstructions. Relocate Any Household Devices Move any heat-generating devices away from your thermostat; they may cause your system to heat or cool unnecessarily.

8 WINDOWS, DOORS, SIDING, ATTIC INSULATION & AIR SEALING Improve The Energy Efficiency And Comfort Of Your Home The exterior envelope of your home can have a significant impact on comfort and energy usage. By making energy-focused improvements, you may be able to create a more pleasant and efficient home. Use Window Shades Open the shades during the day and close them at night to warm your home. Keep your home cool by drawing the shades during the day to block out the sun. Upgrade with ENERGY STAR Certified Windows Old windows can contribute to air leakage and high energy usage. ENERGY STAR certified windows contain a variety of energy-saving features to save you energy. Minimize Heat Gain & Heat Loss Installing a reflective film on windows will divert the heat of the sun in the summer and maintain the warmth inside during the winter. Replace Inefficient Doors ENERGY STAR rated exterior doors incorporate a variety of energy-saving design features that minimize air leakage and enhance efficiency. Insulate the Exterior with Siding Insulated siding provides you with an additional layer of thermal protection, helping maintain a more consistent interior temperature.

9 WINDOWS, DOORS, SIDING, ATTIC INSULATION & AIR SEALING Improve Comfort & Efficiency Seal the Air Leaks By caulking, weather-stripping and insulating air leaks you can create a more comfortable, energy-efficient environment. Insulate the Attic Save energy and improve comfort by increasing the level of attic insulation. Prior to insulating, ensure any air leaks are located and properly sealed. Seal Attic Entrances Install an attic door cover for an airtight barrier that will help reduce the loss of conditioned air.

10 WATER HEATER Heat Water Efficiently And Use Water Wisely Water heating is the second-largest energy user in your home. You can save energy and water by ensuring your water heater is operating optimally and by using heated water more sensibly. Turn the Water Heater Temperature Down Adjust the temperature down to 120º F or lower you will still enjoy the hot water and save energy. Insulate the Water Pipes Reduce heat loss from the water heater to the faucet by insulating the first six feet of exposed hot water pipes with inexpensive pipe insulation. Upgrade Your Water Heater Heating water accounts for about 11% of your energy usage. A high-efficiency water heater will save you energy and money, at least 7% for an ENERGY STAR model. Wrap Your Water Heater If the exterior shell of your electric water heater is warm to the touch, install a non-flammable, insulating water heater blanket to reduce heat loss. Consider a Tankless Water Heater A tankless water heater provides you with continuous hot water and uses about 30% less energy than a traditional tank model. Remove the Sediment Sediment build-up impedes heat transfer and lowers efficiency, so occasionally drain a quart of water from your tank or until the water runs clear. How Big Should Your Hot Water Tank Be? Household Size Demand* Gas Electric 5 or more Regular 50 or 75 Gallon 80 Gallon High 75 Gallon 120 Gallon 3 to 4 Regular 40 Gallon 50 or 65 Gallon High 50 or 75 Gallon 80 Gallon 2 or less Regular 30 Gallon 40 Gallon High 40 Gallon 50 Gallon *Regular Demand includes a home with a washer and dishwasher. High Demand includes a home with teenagers, whirlpool tubs, spas and oversized baths.

11 WATER conservation/plumbing Save Water, Be Good To The Environment An average person uses about 100 gallons of water a day. You can reduce your water usage by simply modifying a few daily habits and by utilizing water-conserving products. Install a High-Efficiency Toilet Approximately 30% of residential indoor water usage is consumed by toilets. Upgrade to a high-efficiency or dual-flush model to conserve water. Install Faucet Aerators Faucets account for roughly 15% of residential indoor water usage, so reduce water consumption by installing faucet aerators. Stop Waiting for Warm Water Waiting for warm water can waste thousands of gallons a year. A hot water circulator pump and timer can provide instant hot water and help reduce your overall water usage. Stop the Leaks A leaky faucet can be a big water drain just five drips a minute can add up to.75 gallons of wasted water a day. Turn the Water Off Reduce water consumption by simply turning off the water during daily activities, like when brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Install Low-Flow Faucets Low-flow faucets can save you up to 60% on water consumption, while delivering the same performance as standard models.

12 ELECTRICAL Save Money By Lighting Efficiently Lighting accounts for roughly 7% of your energy usage. By making efficient lighting choices, you may realize noticeable energy savings. Upgrade with Energy-Saving Light Fixtures ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures adhere to strict EPA guidelines of energy efficiency, using at least 75% less energy than traditional light fixtures. Flip the Switch Turn the lights off when you leave a room you can save 20% to 40% on your lighting usage. Conserve with Motion-Sensing Lighting Motion-sensing light fixtures save energy with a variety of settings, while motion-sensing switches turn the lights off when you may forget. Save Energy with ENERGY STAR Ceiling Fans Qualifying ceiling fan and light units are about 50% more energy efficient than conventional models because of improved components and blade designs. Save Energy with CFLs Compact fluorescent light bulbs last up to ten times longer, use about 75% less energy, and generate 75% less heat than traditional light bulbs.

13 APPLIANCES/ELECTRONICS Use Less Energy Without The Inconvenience Home appliances and electronics consume a considerable portion of your energy bill. By making a few energy-focused changes, you can reduce energy usage and save money. Upgrade with ENERGY STAR Appliances ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use at least 20% less energy; dishwashers use at least 41% less energy and up to one-third less water; and clothes washers are at least 40% more energy and water efficient than conventional models. Tune Up the Refrigerator Ensure the air vents and condenser coils are clean and the door seals are airtight. If necessary, periodically defrost the refrigerator to improve performance. Set the Refrigerator for Optimum Performance Save energy by setting the freezer between 0º F and 5º F and the refrigerator between 34º F and 38º F. Avoid the Special Dishwasher Options Avoid the often unnecessary features like sanitary, cycle heat-dry and rinse-hold. Save energy with the energy-saver mode and air-dry feature. Wash Only Full Loads Save energy by avoiding small loads of dishes and clothes, since a small load will use the same amount of energy as a large load. Wash Clothes in Cold Water About 90% of a washing machine s energy usage is from heating water. Use cold water for regular loads and only use hot water for oily stains. Remove the Moisture from Clothes Use a high spin speed or extended spin option to remove extra moisture from clothing the less moisture, the more effective your dryer. Dry Clothes with the Moisture Sensor A moisture sensor automatically turns the dryer off when the clothes are dry, saving energy and minimizing wear and tear. Be sure to clean the lint trap before every load. Power-Off Unused Equipment Home electronics, like big screen televisions and DVD players, use electricity even when powered off. Plug electronics into a power strip and turn them off when not being used.

14 INDOOR AIR QUALITY Improve The Air In Your Home The EPA ranks poor indoor air quality among the top five environmental risks to public health. Since an average person spends 90% of their time indoors, the quality of indoor air is essential for a healthy living environment. Clean the Duct System Air ducts often accumulate dust, pollen and other airborne pollutants. Duct cleaning will help improve indoor air quality, while increasing the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Purify the Air An electronic whole house air cleaner permanently captures and removes up to 99% of all airborne impurities, providing you with clean, fresh air. Utilize the Ventilation Fans Excessive moisture may contribute to poor indoor air quality. Remove extra moisture by using a ventilation fan for 10 to 15 minutes after bathing. Use Low or No Volatile Organic Compound Materials VOCs (naturally released chemical compounds) contribute to poor air quality. Improve indoor air quality by purchasing low or no VOC products, such as paints, carpets and cleaning solvents. Before Cleaning After Cleaning

15 BGE HOME Save Energy. Save Money. Be Good To The Environment. Our commitment to using energy and resources responsibly transcends the products and services that help our customers reduce their energy usage. Our focus is to recognize the opportunities that will allow us to operate in the most efficient and environmentally sustainable manner. Sustainable Corporate Facility Environmental sustainability is a fundamental value of BGE HOME. Therefore, BGE HOME is pursuing the highest level of sustainability for our corporate headquarters by obtaining the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED, a nationally recognized third-party certification program, is the benchmark for sustainable green building design, construction and operation through the strict enforcement of environmentally responsible guidelines. Responsible Consumption BGE HOME has implemented numerous initiatives to operate in a more environmentally responsible manner. Approximately 70% of all our waste is recycled as a result of these initiatives. Recycle paper, metal, cardboard, wood, oil, refrigerants, electronics and packing materials Send waste to a Zero-Landfill for recycling and energy creation Promote carpooling provide priority parking spaces and communication forums Encourage human transportation provide bicycle racks and shower facilities Enhance fleet routing efficiencies with GPS navigation

16 Visit for more energy-saving tips and interactive tools BGE-HOME BGE HOME is not the same company as BGE, a regulated utility. MD HVAC # MD Master Electrician #7070 MD Master Plumber/Gas Fitter # Balto. Co. Master Plumber/Gas Fitter #MP-9502 WSSC #70751 MHIC # % recycled, 25% post consumer waste

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