Home Energy Conservation

Hawaii's energy usage and efficiency is an important issue for present and future generations. Because of its geographical location, Hawaii depends on imported petroleum for most of its electrical energy needs. With energy costs reaching record levels, there are measures you can take to lower your energy bill*:

  • Over 10% of your energy bill goes toward heating water for your dishwasher, shower and faucets. Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees and drain any sediment. Although it is recommended to keep your water heater above 120 degrees to prevent bacteria build up, many hot water heaters are set too high. Draining some water a few times a year reduces sediment and increases efficiency.
  • Add insulation to you water heater. Adding insulation to your water heater and any exposed pipes can save as much as 15 percent off the cost of heating water. Most hardware stores sell pre-made insulator "jackets" that can be easily wrapped around one's water heater.
  • Replace your most frequently used incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (or CFL). Compact fluorescent light bulbs produce less heat, use up to 75% less energy and last ten times longer than a regular bulb.
  • Replace outdoor lighting with a motion-detector equipped bulb or fixture. Cutting the use of a 150-watt, outdoor flood light from six to one hour per night with a motion sensor can safely and efficiently light your home while reducing your electricity bill.
  • Install a low-flow shower head and shorten your shower time. Low-flow shower heads reduce the amount of hot water used and by cutting just two minutes per shower, can save more than $215 per year.
  • Use Fans instead of Air Conditioners. 12% of the average home's electricity costs involve air conditioners. Two fans rather than an 8,000 BTUH room air conditioner, based on four hours per day, can save over $160 per year.
  • Set your air conditioner thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature. Each degree above 75 degrees Fahrenheit saves you approximately 3% off your electricity bill. If your system is automatic, program your air conditioner to turn off when the house is empty and auto on before everyone gets home.

*Source: Sierra Club, Hawaiian Electric Company

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