• Use short cycles for everything but the dirtiest dishes. This can save up to 25 percent on hot water and electrical usage. If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, use it instead of the heat-dry setting.
Ovens, Ranges & Microwaves

Your food budget doesn’t stop at the checkout counter. Here are some suggestions to help you save energy and money when cooking.

  • Pre-heat your oven just long enough to reach the correct temperature. Turn it off five to ten minutes early before removing food from the oven.
  • Bake several dishes at the same time. It uses no more energy — you get two or more for the price of one.
  • Use a microwave oven when possible. A microwave uses up to 50 percent less energy than a conventional oven.
Refrigerators & Freezers

If you’re like most people, chances are your refrigerator/freezer is one of the largest energy users in your home, gobbling up about 8% of your household’s annual energy costs. Why? Because it requires electricity to operate, and it’s on 24 hours a day using between 100 and 200-kilowatt hours a month.

  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer as full as possible. A half-empty appliance uses more energy.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Opening the doors causes the appliance to use more energy.
  • Make sure your refrigerator and freezer gaskets are tight. Close the door on a heavy piece of paper. If it pulls out easily, the gaskets may need replacing.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer at the right temperature. If they’re only 10 degrees colder than necessary, your operating costs will go up 25 percent. Refrigerators should be between 38 and 42 degrees and the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees.
Washers & Dryers

Your washing machine may use up to 10-kilowatt hours per load, and your dryer can use as much as 5-kilowatt hours per load. This means that you could be using 15-kilowatt hours of electricity with every load of laundry.

  • Washers and dryers can account for as much as 25 percent of electrical usage. When running these appliances always use a full load. Clean the lint filter in your dryer after each use. This will keep the dryer from running longer.
Appliance shopping tips:

Appliance shopping? Compare more than price.  If you’re shopping for new or replacement household appliances, you need to compare more than just the prices of different models. Here are a few appliance shopping tips:

  • How can you tell what’s the best buy? Go for high efficiency and use the EnergyGuide label. Energy Guide labels show the estimated annual cost of operating the appliance and rank its energy-efficiency. For example: newer more efficient refrigerators use half as much energy as many older models of the same size, so they cost half as much to operate. Be sure to compare cubic footage and purchase price, as well as estimated operating costs. An older 19-cubic-foot refrigerator with a top freezer uses approximately 450-kilowatt hours per month, while a new high-efficiency model may reduce that consumption by 50%. The EnergyGuide label can help you with your decision.