The DPU doesn't currently offer in-home energy assessments, but there are several resources available if a complete energy assessments from a professional isn't in the budget.
Calculating Appliance Energy Use
- Estimate how many hours per day an appliance runs
- Find the wattage of the appliance
- Find the daily energy consumption using the following formula:
- (Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption
- Find the annual energy consumption using the following formula:
- Daily kWh consumption × number of days used per year = annual energy consumption
- Find the annual cost to run the appliance using the following formula:
- Annual energy consumption × utility rate per kWh = annual cost to run appliance
Energy.gov has a built-in Appliance Energy Calculator and can be a good estimating tool.
If you are looking at energy use for a stove, you'll have to look into the wattage ranges and either estimate usage for middle power settings or be content with minimum and maximum power energy usage.
Power Strips 101
Smart power strips are a thing now! They can add protection against power surges and help you save energy. Click here(PDF, 756KB) for a quick primer on the different types!
Have a lot of stuff plugged in to outlets? Standby power is the electric power wasted by these devices when not in use. Check out a fantastic graphic created by Save On Energy that shows the annual totals of common energy eaters. Click on the image below to see the whole thing.
Dig into more at the Save On Energy website.
Tips for Cutting Your Energy Costs
- Wash clothes in cold water - 80-90% of the energy is used to heat the water alone.
- Use clothes lines - the low humidity could cut dry time in half versus the machine.
- Adjust thermostats, either manually or via a program. No sense in fully heating or cooling an empty home-- not even for Fido the dog or Spikey the houseplant.
- Use! Those! Shades. Close 'em in the summer and open them in the winter.
- Turn off TVs and computers when you are done using them.
- If you can't turn off your computer (updates done at night?), at least turn off the screen and see if you can set it to sleep mode.
- "For the last time" shut the fridge door!
- If supplementing heating with a space heater, DON'T use near a thermostat or its sensors. You will artificially make it sense that the entire house is warmer and your other rooms will feel very cold.
- Turn down the water heater (an ideal temp is 120F), but do your research first for possible background conditions.
- Maintain your HVAC system. The harder your system has to work, the more energy it's consuming.
- Seal off air leaks to the outside.
- Switch to LED light bulbs. Looking at all your bulbs and feeling overwhelmed? Start with five light fixtures in the most-used spaces. (Kitchen? Bathrooms? Living spaces?)
- When it come times to replace appliances, choose more energy-efficient models. Plan ahead for failures. Here's a great resource: EnergyStar.gov
- Evaluate your home or building's insulation levels.