Reliable tips for reducing your energy use - East Valley Tribune: Living Green

Reliable tips for reducing your energy use

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Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 4:05 pm | Updated: 10:47 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

At SRP, we occasionally hear stories from customers who’ve used the Internet to find novel advice on how to manage their home energy usage.

We’ve heard from people who switched to a black-screen version of Google because they read that it uses less energy than the white home page.

Some have asked about self-cleaning air conditioning filters. (We would like to see those filters as much as you would!) In response to customer requests for online energy advice, SRP has created an easy online tool called the Home Energy Manager.

Home Energy Manager offers interactive tools to help you understand and reduce your energy use.

The website allows visitors to tour an interactive house and learn about improvements that can be made in ‘virtually’ every area of your home. The information ranges from simple changes to advice on major purchases such as replacing an appliance.

Here are just a few examples of kitchen energy saving advice you’ll find on SRP’s Home Energy Manager:

  •  A full refrigerator operates more efficiently than an empty one.
  • The type of baking pan you choose can impact your energy use. If you use glass or ceramic pans instead of metal, you can reduce the oven heat by approximately 25 degrees, and the food cooks just as quickly.
  • Energy Star refrigerators exceed federal energy efficiency standards by 20%, and units with freezers on top use less energy than units with freezers on the side.

Once you have completed the interactive house tour, Home Energy Manager can help you prioritize the best ways to save on your electric bills.

The Home Analyzer tool helps you model your electric use so you can understand how much it costs to provide electricity for the equipment and appliances in your home.

Calculators on the site provide an instant estimate of how much you can save by making changes such as upgrading your heat pump or raising your house’s thermostat in the summer.

SRP’s website (www.srpnet.com) can also help customers learn about the rebates and programs SRP offers, such as the appliance recycling promotion.

Home Energy Manager is available to anyone with Internet access, but it has added functions for SRP’s customers. When you access the Home Energy Manager through SRP’s My Account page, you can compare bill estimates of those “virtual” decisions with your actual SRP billing data. Just go to www.srpnet.com/MyAccount.

Home Energy Manager can help you become more energy efficient, which is good for your wallet and good for the environment.

If you’re still wondering about that black-screen version of Google, it might make a very small difference in your energy consumption if you have a circa 1985 computer.

Deborah Kimberly is SRP's Manager of Energy Efficiency & Policy Analysis.

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