It only comes once every four years, but when it does, Leap Year is an added energy cost.
“A single day’s worth of energy usage might not seem like a lot, but it adds up,” said Jim Steffes, Vice President of Direct Energy. “This is the perfect opportunity to remind people that small changes in behavior at home can make a big difference at the end of the month. It’s never too late to change habits.”
While on an individual basis, the millions of refrigerators, cooling and heating systems, dishwashers and washing machines that run each day will only cost consumers a few dollars for the extra day, collectively, these costs add up.
Some of the top energy-saving measures for residential consumers generally include:
- Installing a programmable thermostat and setting it to decrease the number of times your cooling or heating system runs at night and when no one is home; for example, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that you can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10°-15° for eight hours while you’re at work
- Unplug zombie electronics – devices including mobile phone chargers and computers that draw power from outlets even when they’re turned off can add hundreds of dollars more to your annual electricity costs
- Switch from incandescent lighting to high efficiency compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and turn off all lights when leaving rooms; CFLs are 75% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and last 10 times as long
- Replace air conditioner filters every month for maximum benefits. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing its energy use
- Set kilowatt goals for lowering energy consumption and track month-to-month and year over year
- Insulating the attic can reduce annual heating costs by 5 to 30%, depending on whether you’re topping up existing insulation, or adding to an uninsulated attic
- Leaking ductwork can account for 25% of cooling costs in an average home, so have your ducts tested and have any leaks or restrictions repaired by a qualified contractor
In addition to these measures, here’s a tool to help better understand energy usage at home and opportunities for savings: our Energy Saving Center online.
For more information and energy savings tips, visit our Direct Energy website today.