Save Energy and Money

More and more people are looking for ways to save and KREMC would like to help! With an energy advisor and highly trained member service representatives, the answers to your questions are only a phone call away. (574-267-6331)

Lighting the Way

Since lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electricity use, don’t stay in the dark when shopping for new bulbs that save on energy and your electric bill. Things to know before you go:

  • End of an Era We’ve basked in the golden glow of Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb since the 1800s, but January 2014 marked the end of its run. That’s when the federal government finalized its mandated phase out of selected general-purpose light bulbs and Edison’s less energy efficient incandescent ones. While you still may find 100 and 75-watt bulbs on store shelves, manufacturers in the U.S. stopped producing them. The old 40 and 60-watt bulbs, which represented over half the market, are following suit.
  • What brought about the lighting change? In 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that home and commercial lighting was consuming more electricity annually–about 300 billion kilowatt-hours of lighting or the equivalent of about 100 power plants—but most of it was wasted. Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs used plenty of energy to produce only 10 percent light, with 90 percent of the energy given off as heat.
  • The Energy Department assures consumers that there is a bright side—lower electricity bills over the longer term. These are their estimates: using a traditional incandescent bulb adds about $4.80 per year to the average household electric bill, but a CFL bulb adds just $1.20 a year and an LED about $1 per year. That means that a typical household could potentially save about $50 per year by replacing 15 old incandescent bulbs.
  • KREMC offers $7.50 rebate on Energy Star LEDs through the PowerMoves program.

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRECA
Did you know heating and cooling accounts for a whopping 56% of energy use in the average home? Following some simple advice can help the savings add up.

HVAC savings

Geothermal seems to be the new buzz word when it comes to heating/cooling your home or business and for good reason.  A geothermal heat pump (GHP) uses 25% to 50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems.

By using a closed or open loop pipe system buried in the ground, antifreeze or a water solution circulates through ground and adjusts to the earth’s natural temperature. In the winter, the fluid in the pipes extracts heat from the earth and carries it into the building. In the summer, the system reverses and takes heat from the building and deposits it to the cooler ground.

Although the purchase and installation cost of a residential GHP system is often higher, you may recoup your initial investment in five to ten years through lower utility bills, rebates and incentives.  Properly sized and installed GHPs deliver more energy per unit consumed than conventional systems.

Other Benefits:

  • When included in a mortgage — your investment in a GHP will produce a positive cash flow from the beginning. For example, if the extra $3,500 cost of the GHP will add $30 per month to each mortgage payment, the energy cost savings will easily exceed that added mortgage amount over the course of each year.
  • Geothermal heat pump systems allow for design flexibility and can be installed in both new and retrofit situations. Because the hardware requires less space than that needed by a conventional HVAC system, the equipment rooms can be greatly scaled down, freeing space for productive uses. GHPs have no outside condensing units like air conditioners, so there’s no concern about noise outside the home.
  • GHP systems have relatively few moving parts and those parts are sheltered inside a building, so the systems are durable and highly reliable. The underground piping often carries warranties of 25 to 50 years, and the heat pumps often last 20 years or more.

If a geothermal system seems to be the right fit for your home or business, or you have some questions contact Katy Berger, the KREMC Energy Advisor at 574-267-6331.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy