For Immediate Release: Monday, June 6, 2011
(ST. PAUL, MN) As temperatures and humidity begin to rise this summer, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is reminding consumers there are some simple steps they can take to keep cool, save money and conserve energy.
"This summer, consumers can save energy and help family budgets with some simple energy-saving tips," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "By following these tips, we can also avoid overusing our state's power system by easing high demand."
To beat the heat and conserve energy, the department's energy division offers the following tips:
Install and use a programmable thermostat and set it to 78 degrees F; or, if you are home throughout the day, manually turn on and off your air conditioner as needed.
Supplement air conditioning use with ceiling fans and other fans, which can create a wind-chill effect.
Clean or replace your air conditioner filter monthly to improve efficiency.
Keep air conditioner coils clean and free of dust and dirt to increase efficiency and lifetime use.
Keep shades pulled and doors and windows closed during the day.
Take short showers instead of baths.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Air dry dishes and dry clothes outside.
Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing new appliances and products. For central air conditioners, look for a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of 14 SEER or more.
Enroll in energy-saving programs from your utility.
The tips above were collected from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy and Xcel Energy. For more energy-saving tips, visit www.energysavers.gov or talk to your utility. For a wide range of ideas on energy conservation and energy efficiency, visit the Division of Energy Resources website at www.energy.mn.gov .