Energy saving tips


A number of factors—especially your family’s size and lifestyle—determine your home’s total electricity use. The following factors tend to influence electricity use most:

Family Size – The number of people living in a home, their ages and the time they spend at home relates directly to the amount of energy that is used. Taking showers, washing and drying clothes, cooking meals, even how many times a day the refrigerator door is opened will add to the number of kilowatts used daily. When guests visit, you can expect your electric use to increase.

Seasonal fluctuations – Heating and cooling your home accounts for a major portion of your total home energy use. Any month with extremely hot or cold temperatures will cause an increase in your electric use.


  • Watch your thermostat setting. Every degree that you heat your home that is higher than necessary costs extra.
  • Changing your furnace’s air filters regularly – about once a month – makes a BIG difference. (Make sure you install the new filter in the correct direction – look for the arrow on the side.)
  • Close fireplace dampers when not burning a fire.
  • Seal wall plugs and switches with foam inexpensive foam pads.
  • Let the sun in during the day but close drapes or blinds at night.
  • Insulate the attic access door.
  • Make sure windows and doors are properly weather-stripped.
  • Programmable thermostats save energy by keeping your home warm while you’re home, and setting back the temperature while you’re away.
    See this video to see how they are used.

video icon See list of short how-to videos that show steps to take to save energy – and money. 

Water heating –
Water heating is often the second largest energy expense in a Minnesota home and may account for up to 20 percent of the household’s annual energy costs. You can reduce hot water expenses by joining the Cooperative’s energy-wise water heating program, with the efficient Marathon® water heater. Also, you will use less hot water by taking showers rather than baths and by using a low-flow showerhead.

Appliances – Appliances and lighting account for about one-fifth of the total home energy use. Home appliances are huge labor savers, yet they may be significant energy users. When purchasing new appliances, look for the Energy Star label, which designates efficiency. You can also conserve energy by turning off appliances and lights that are not in use.


To see how much electricity individual appliances use, you can borrow a ‘Kill-A-Watt’ meter from the cooperative. Stop by to check one out for a few days, at no charge.

Click here to view a brief video showing how a Kill-A-Watt meter can be a helpful tool.


View Lighting Video