Tips to conserve energy, keep your power bills at low cost | SierraSun.com

Tips to conserve energy, keep your power bills at low cost

NV Energy
Special to the Bonanza

Turn up the thermostat, take good care of your air conditioner, and let Mother Nature cool your home during mornings and evenings.

Those are a few of the summertime energy savings tips from Chad Piekarz, an energy efficiency expert at NV Energy.

For the past eight years, Piekarz has been assessing the energy efficiency of homes and businesses and advising customers on ways to keep their monthly power bills under control.

Often it means simply changing habits, such as remembering to close the curtains before leaving home for the day.

"The most effective way to prevent high bills is to install a programmable thermostat and set the system to run no lower than 78 degrees when cooling your home and 85 degrees when you're away," Piekarz said. "The easiest way to cut energy costs is to use less."

Lowering the thermostat below 78 degrees by one degree can increase electricity costs by up to two percent, he added.

Recommended Stories For You

Piekarz said NV Energy has a new online program called MyAccount to help customers manage their home energy use better.

Besides having the convenience of paying their electric bills online, MyAccount customers have access to detailed data that lets them track their energy usage, view their up-to-the-minute electricity costs, and perform their own home energy analysis.

Here are some additional recommendations from Piekarz to help you beat the heat while holding down energy costs:

• Change the air filters on air conditioning systems monthly when the system is running more often and make sure the air conditioning unit is free of debris.

• Use your window coverings to keep heat out during the day.

• Use your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer later in the day as these appliances can heat a house. (And be sure to run full loads in each.)

• Use portable electric fans and ceiling fans to help keep temperatures cooler.

• Consider using an indoor evaporative cooler instead of the air conditioner as the power consumption is drastically lower.

• Open windows to let cooler air in during mornings and evenings.

• Replace incandescent lights with LED lights or compact fluorescent lights.

For more energy savings tips and information about MyAccount, visit http://www.nvenergy.com.