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Stretch Your Energy Dollar
  Energy Saving and Dollar-Stretching Tips
Download our "Do-it-yourself Home Energy Audit" for detailed information on insulating, caulking and weatherstripping your home.

  In the Kitchen -- Appliances
  • Thaw frozen foods before cooking them in the oven (except convection models).
  • Dust or vacuum the grills and coils of your refrigerator and freezer regularly, especially in homes where pet hair is abundant.
  • Air spaces between foods in a refrigerator improve cooling efficiency. Freezers cost less to operate when packed full of food.
  • Defrost your freezer before frost gets one-quarter-inch thick.
  • Make sure refrigerator door seals fit airtight. (This may only require adjusting doors.)
  • Don't use an oven for toasting bread or for heating the house.
  • Plan meals that require as few cooking appliances as possible. For example, cook several dishes in the oven at the same time.
  • Use a timer instead of looking into the oven to see if food is done. The oven temperature drops at least 25 degrees each time you open the oven door.
  • Keep range-top and burners clean.
  • Match the size of your cooking pan to the electric range surface units used.
  • Keep range grease vent clean.
  • Cover pots to speed boiling.
  • Microwave ovens are more efficient than conventional ovens.
  • Only run your dishwasher with a full load of dishes.
  • Rinse dishes in cold water.
  • If your dishwasher doesn't have an energy-saver (fan only) drying cycle, open the door and air-dry the dishes.
  • Use cold water to run your garbage disposal.
  In the Laundry -- WashWise
  • Use cold-water washes whenever possible. Cold water rinses save money and prevent wrinkling.
  • Don't over-dry clothes.
  • Wait until you have a full load to use the washer and dryer, but don't overload. Clean the dryer’s lint filter before each load.
  • Iron clothes which require cool temperatures first. Don't repeatedly heat up and cool the iron.
  Water and Lighting -- Energy Efficient Bulbs & Fixtures
  • Set water heater at 120 degrees. This saves electricity and prevents scalding.
  • Put an insulation jacket on your water heater and insulate hot water pipes.
  • Repair leaky faucets.
  • Take short showers. Install a low-flow shower head.
  • Turn off lights when not needed, keep lamps and lighting fixtures clean.
  • Fluorescent lamps provide three to five times more light for each kilowatt-hour of electricity than do incandescent lamps.
  • Use lower wattage lighting whenever possible.
  • Shop for energy efficient light bulbs those that give off the most lumens of light per watt of electricity. Compare bulb ratings by dividing lumens by watts.
  • Set your thermostat for 65 - 70 degrees during the day and 50 - 60 degrees at night.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters often.
  • Caulk, weather-strip and insulate.
  • Don't block furnace ducts with draperies or furniture.
  • Insulate your windows or add storm windows.
  • Close off unoccupied rooms (unless you have a heat pump).
  • Open draperies and shades in sunny windows. Close them at night.
  • Use portable heaters only in small areas for short periods of time.
  • Stop drafts at the bottom of doors and along window sills - - use a 3-inch by 36-inch cloth tube ("door snake") filled with sand or small beans or use a rolled up towel or rug.
For a brochure of energy-saving tips, you may download and print " Saving Electricity at Home". This file is in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format, and requires Acrobat Reader for viewing, downloadable from Get Acrobat Reader This link goes to a site which is not hosted on the

Call an Energy Advisor at 206.684.3800 or send email to if you'd like us to mail you a copy of the appliance chart, or if you'd like more information on saving energy in the home.

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Seattle City Light -- 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98104-5031 -- 206.684.3000
Mailing address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, P.O. Box 34023 Seattle, WA 98124-4023