Home Energy Resource Guide
When it comes to your home’s energy usage, many options exist to help you cut costs while maintaining a comfortable home. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives offer the following home energy resource guide so that you can make well-informed decisions that benefit your family.
On Heating Costs: Heating costs can account for 25 to 50 percent of a home's total energy expense. Another 14 percent of a home's energy usage is used to heat water. Here are some tips to help you manage your winter energy costs . . . read more>>
On Cooling Costs: To reduce your summer cooling costs, you must reduce the amount of time that your air conditioner runs. For starters, make sure your system is running properly with good maintenance and service. Next, increase your thermostat setting either manually or automatically. And you should try to employ low-cost cooling methods, like using ceiling fans . . . read more>>
Programmable Thermostats: A programmable thermostat is one of the most reliable energy savers available. It is simply a clock combined with a thermostat. They work by adjusting your home's temperature automatically to save energy when your family is sleeping or away from home. If used properly, they can save 10 to 15 percent on heating and cooling costs . . . . read more>>
Water Heaters: Water heating is one of your home's top energy expenses, accounting for about 14 percent of your utility bill. There are four main ways to cut your water heating bills. . . read more>>
Cost to Run Appliances: Every appliance has two price tags—a purchase price and the operating cost. Smart shoppers will check out the operating costs over the life of the appliance. Even if two models look the same from the outside, the features on the inside can make a difference in your monthly utility bills . . . read more>>
Energy Star Appliances: If you are interested in managing your energy costs, then you should look for the Energy Star whenever you purchase an appliance for your home including:washers, dryers, dishwashers, water heaters, air conditioners, heat pumps and many more . . . read more>>
Insulation: Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Added insulation can make your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house. . . read more>>
Windows: Your home's windows are probably the weakest part of your home's thermal barrier. The windows of your home can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating and electricity bill. If your home has single-pane windows, as almost half of U.S. homes do, consider replacing them. New double-pane windows with high performance glass (low-e or spectrally selective) are available . . . read more>>
Storm Windows: You may also want to consider storm windows. . . read more>>
HVAC Duct Work: Your home's duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors and ceilings, carries the air from your home's furnace and central air conditioner to each room. A well-designed, sealed and insulated duct system will improve your system's ability to consistently cool and heat every room in your home. read more>>
Home Energy Audit: A home energy audit is useful to review how much energy your home consumes, and to evaluate what measure you can take to make your home more energy efficient. You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. . . read more>>
Fuel Types: While the price of everything seems to be increasing, using electricity is still a great value for your money. Electric cooperatives work hard to keep electricity as a great value, even as the cost of other commodities increase. Even so, there are several variables to consider when selecting a system for your home's heating and cooling needs. Calculating the relative cost of fuels is simple. . . read more>>
Blue Ridge Electric offers you multiple home energy audits for your convenience. You can find a home energy calculator, an appliance calculator and a lighting calculator - all brought to you by Apogee.
You can also visit Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ Home Energy Saver Web site to calculate your own electricity usage and find ways to save money and energy.