Electric Energy-Saving Tips

10 Biggest Energy Users

Do you know what the 10 biggest energy users in your home are?

  • Water Heater
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Air Conditioner
  • Range
  • Clothes Washer
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Portable Heater
  • Lights



Here are some tips to reduce electric usage and waste:

  • Install weather-stripping on doors and windows.
  • Plug electrical receptacles, pipe, and wire entry points.
    • Draft blockers can be used behind light switches and electrical outlets.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperature according to your schedule.
  • Insulate your home.
    • The U.S. Department of Energy recommends an R-49 rating for attics


More Tips

The following links provide more electric energy-saving tips:


Green Energy Program

On June 1, 2006, The Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Inc. (DEMEC) launched a new Green Energy Program which fulfills requirements of the State’s recently passed renewable energy portfolio standards. The money collected will be used for the development, promotion, and support of energy efficiency programs, renewable or alternative energy technologies, or demand side management programs. Green Energy is a mandatory charge for all electric utilities in Delaware. The minimum charge is $0.000178 per kWh.



  • Look for the EnergyStar and EnergyGuide labels when shopping for home appliances. It can cut your energy bills up to 30%.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans within 20 minutes after you are finished.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  • In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.



  • Insulate heating ducts in unheated areas such as attics and crawlspaces and keep them in good repair to prevent heat loss of up to 60% at the registers.
  • Clean war-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Do not block with furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Reset your programmable thermostat from 72°F to 65°F for eight (8) hours a day cutting your heating bill up to 10%.
  • Keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day and close at night.
  • Properly maintain and clean heating equipment.
  • Replace furnace filters regularly.



  • Warm up to cooler water. Using hot water can uses 3-1/2 times more energy.
  • Don’t overheat. Lower your water heater’s temperature to 120°F.
  • Get loaded. It takes less energy to do one big load than two smaller ones.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve circulation.
  • Make sure your dryer’s outside vent is clean and closes properly.
  • Consider air drying your clothes on clothes lines or drying racks.



  • Remove, clean, and store window air conditioners. If not, wrap the unit with a thick layer of fiberglass insulation and seal it with plastic sheeting and duct tape to keep out the moisture.
  • If your air conditioner is old, consider a new one. Look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow.
  • Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat.
  • Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home.
  • Set your thermostat as high as possible. 78°F is often recommended.
  • Keep your cooling system well tuned.
  • Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic.



  • Use Energy Star labeled lighting fixtures.
  • Turn off the lights in any room you are not using.
  • Consider using high-intensity discharge (also called HID) or low-pressure sodium lights.
  • Install task lighting
  • Use dimmers, motion sensors, or occupancy sensors to automatically turn on and off lighting as needed and prevent energy waste.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in place of comparable incandescent bulbs to save about 50% on your lighting costs. CFLs use only ¼ the energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Turn off decorative outdoor natural gas lamps.
  • Use light wall colors to minimize the need for artificial lighting.