With the arrival of fall the days are getting shorter, which means more indoor time with the family and more electricity used for lights and other electronics in homes and businesses.
Gulf Power Company reminds customers that there are several ways to save money and energy during this time of year.
Here are some ways to use lighting and electricity wisely and reduce your bill:
• Use fluorescent lighting or CFLs when possible. They last about 10 times longer than incandescent lamps and they use much less energy. The bonus is that they also produce less heat, so your AC doesn’t have to work harder.
• Always turn off your lights or CFLs when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year.
• Consider purchasing timers which save electricity by automatically turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers can also save electricity when used to lower light levels.
• Today’s homes use much more energy than just five years ago. Phone chargers, computers, game consoles, DVRs and flat screen TVs — often in many rooms — add dramatically to your energy purchases. Electronics around the home account for 15 percent of the electricity you buy. Many of these products use energy even when switched off and are known as energy vampires. Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point for these electronics and save money.
• Computer monitors use 60 watts of power per hour so learn to power down and save energy. Screensavers are designed to save your screen from burn in, not to save energy, so put yours to sleep or power off altogether when you’re away from your computer for more than 10 minutes.
For more energy saving tips and information about Gulf Power’s EarthCents programs, which offer rebates for a variety of energy efficiency upgrades in your home or business visit www.gulfpower.com or call 1-877-655-4001.