Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Duke Energy supplies tips to cut energy bill

Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011

Energy vampires

Looking for ways to stretch your energy dollar is smart business. It also promotes environmental sustainability. One way to save both energy and money is to target what Duke Energy refers to as “energy vampires.”

Energy vampires are electrical devices that use electricity, even when they’re turned off. Taken together, they can account for as much as 20 percent of your electric bill. These devices include:

· Wall warts: These are devices like cell phone chargers that have a large plug. They consume energy, even when the device to be charged is not plugged in.

· Bricks: Cords used with laptop computers, televisions and some cable TV equipment are often joined in the middle by large black boxes. These “bricks” use energy continuously as long as they remain plugged in.

Other examples include:

· Cable and satellite boxes
· Digital TV converters
· DVR, VCR and DVD players
· Mobile and cellular devices
· MP3 players
· Video game consoles
· Standby coffee makers
· Devices that turn on instantly with remote control
· Devices with a standby light or clock

It sounds too simple to be true, but unplugging these devices when not in use can save you money. By controlling your energy vampires, you can improve your energy savings.

· Use energy-saving features commonly built into personal computers.
· Plug wall warts and bricks into power strips, then turn them off when not needed. Using “smart” power strips makes it even easier. These power strips automatically cut off power when devices are not in use.

More ways to save energy this winter

· Change the filter on your furnace. A dirty filter makes your furnace work harder, which uses more energy.
· Maintain your heating system. It’s just as important as changing the oil in your car. Have your system checked out by a licensed technician. Annual or semi-annual checkups can improve your system’s efficiency and help prevent costly repairs.
· Use a programmable thermostat. You can save up to 10 percent every year on your energy use by cutting back the temperature 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day. Programmable thermostats are a great way to accomplish that task.
· Adjust the brightness on your TV. Some newer televisions are automatically configured for “store” mode, which is a brighter, high-energy mode set by manufacturers before they’ve been shipped to stores. That high level of brightness may not be necessary in your living room. Try out the “home” setting for a better picture, longer TV life and energy savings of up to 30 percent.