Tips for conserving Hot Water

Water heaters are the second largest energy users in most homes - only space heating/cooling systems use more. Of the total electricity used in an all-electric home, 25 percent is used to heat water for laundry, cleaning, and bathing.

Here are some tips to save energy and money used for water heating:

*Lower the thermostat to between 120 and 130 degrees Farenheit. This simple action can save as much as $45 per year and reduce the risk of burns from tap water.

*Fix leaky faucets promptly. As you can see below, a faucet that leaks 30 drops of water per minute uses 18 kilowatt hours per month.

30 drops/minute = 84 gallons/month = 18 kWh/month

60 drops/minute = 168 gallons/month = 37 kWh/month

90 drops/minute = 253 gallons/month = 56 kWh/month

120 drops/minute = 337 gallons/month = 74 kWh/month

*Wrap the water heater with insulation. If the water heater is located in an unheated area, wrapping it can save up to $1 per month.

*Take quick showers instead of baths. You can save even more hot water by installing a shower flow restrictor, available at no charge from EWEB.

*Turn off the electricity to the water heater at the main fuse box if you will be gone for three days or more.

*Use solar energy to heat your water. It will concentrate sunligh, converted into heat then applied to a steam generator to be converted into electricity which in turn heats your water as well as generate electricity throughout the house and warm buildings.

*Use cold water with the disposal. Cold water solidifies grease so the disposal can get rid of it more effectively.

*Do all household cleaning with cold water if possible.

*When washing dishes in the sink, fill the sink and plug it instead of letting the water run constantly.

*Use cool water when washing clothes. Cold water detergents can be used for much, if not all, of you laundry. If you must wash clothes in warm or hot water, rinse them in cold water.

*Use presoak cycle for heavily soiled loads to avoid two washings.

*Whenever possible, wash only full loads. If your washer has a water level selector, use the lowest practical level.