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Fall-friendly ways to save on your utility bill

Who wants to spend more money than necessary on electric and water bills when there are better things to buy this time of year, like everything pumpkin spice?

Use these tips to lower your utility bill this fall:

  1. Get a better water heater. Most people don’t think about their water heater until it stops working, leaving no time to consider the best replacement option. Finding yourself without a working water heater comes with high stress, expensive costs, and few options. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, now is the time to replace it. Standard water heaters use more energy than all your other appliances combined. Buy a hybrid version – called a heat pump water heater – and you’ll save about $3,500 on your electric bill over the life of the water heater. Get $500 off at these stores now. If it’s not yet time to replace your water heater, save with what you have by turning down the temp to 120 degrees. Since water heating is so energy intensive, this little tweak in temp makes a big difference. Get $500 off a better water heater now
  2. Wear your warmth. This one’s cozy and easy! Keep warm with your wool socks, oversized sweaters and favorite blankets, not a higher thermostat. Turn your thermostat back 5 to 10 degrees when you are asleep or away from home. Making this change can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat makes it even easier to set back your temperature. New technology allows you to program your thermostat even when you are away from your home. Get a $50 rebate for a smart thermostat.
  3. Do your chores. As you well know, having a home means there’s always things that need your attention. This season has some really important chores to get done so you can keep your home heated as efficiently and affordably as possible. At a minimum, clean or replace the air filters in your heating system, and clean up fallen debris and leaves from outside equipment. The best option is to schedule an annual maintenance service for your heating system, which could include extra measures like verifying air flow, inspecting electrical components, lubricating parts, and ensuring accurate thermostat operation. Call a Tacoma Power Participating Contractor to get started.
  4. Don’t shiver through the winter. Or roast in the summer. If your house doesn’t have enough insulation, bringing it up to current standards will make it more comfortable all year long. Plus, you’ll save on your electric bills. There are a variety of options for upgrading your insulation, but the crawlspaces, basements, and attics are good places to start. We’ll help you pay to upgrade your insultation with a rebate that covers a chunk of the project cost. Learn about rebates here
  5. Rid your home of phantom energy ghosts. It’s not just on Halloween that phantom energy vampires lurk in your home. Many electronic components and devices use energy even when they appear to be turned off. This is often referred to as “phantom” or “vampire” use. Try plugging your electronics into a power strip, and then you can easily switch the strip off at night or while you are gone.
  6. Decorate in style. Just so you know, LED lights are cool and incandescent lights are not. As you decorate for the upcoming seasons and holidays, use light strings and other décor items made with LED lights. You’ll save money and electricity, and maybe even outshine your neighbors with the best decorated home on the block.
  7. Plan early to keep your house cool for less next summer. Plant a tree now and let the rain keep it watered so you can enjoy free heat reprieve next summer. A shade tree will lower your house temp with each year of growth. Get a coupon from TPU and the City of Tacoma for a hefty discount on shade trees from local nurseries.

You’ve got this! If you’re ready to make your home even more energy efficient, check out this full list of home improvements we’ll help you pay for with a loan or rebate.

Even though we receive generous amounts of rain during the fall, water conservation is still as important as ever, especially since many of us are spending more time at home.

  1. Start a new habit. We use a lot of water in our daily lives. Being mindful of turning off the tap, taking shorter showers, and running full loads of laundry and dishes, along with other changes in your daily routine, will reduce your water consumption.
  2. Check, twist and replace. Check for dripping faucets and showerheads, and listen for running toilets, then twist and tighten to fix leaks. Replace old fixtures with WaterSense-labeled models, which can use 20% less water. A single dripping faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year.
  3. Water your plants less often. The cooler temperatures and increased rainfall indicates that plants, indoors and out, require less water. It’s also wise to slow down and winterize your irrigation to prevent overwatering in the colder months.

For more ways to conserve water and save money visit, MyTPU.org/WaterSmart

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