Energy, Water & Winter Weather Tips
Ten Easy Water Conservation Tips
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality advises the following tips for water conservation:
- Collect rainwater for outdoor use during the peak summer months, and you can save up to 1,300 gallons of water.
- Watering your lawn in the morning saves water from being evaporated by the midday heat and reduces your water bill, too!
- When needed, water your lawn one inch, once a week. Place a 6-ounce tuna can on your lawn and stop watering when it's full.
- If every household fixed just one leaky faucet, we could reduce water use in Texas by more than 13 billion gallons a year!
- Installing a water-efficient shower head can reduce water consumption by 25% to 60% and save energy.
- Check your toilet by using a leak-detection dye tablet; otherwise, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water a day.
- Turn off the water faucet while your brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons of water per minute.
- Replacing older toilets with water-efficient toilets can save 9,000 gallons of water a year.
- Washing only full loads of laundry can save an average household more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
- An Energy Star dishwasher is about 25% more efficient than a conventional one, and will save about 800 gallons of water per year.
Energy Conservation Tips
The Public Utility Commission recommends the following tips for conserving electricity.
Setting the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher - every degree below 78 degrees can increase energy consumption by 6 to 8%. Fans can be used with less energy. If doors and windows are not tight, or if they are frequently opened, the air conditioner must work that much harder. Direct sunlight can also heat a room quickly. Check air conditioning ducts to eliminate leaks; caulk and weather-strip doors, windows and pipe clearances.
Refrigerators and freezers are more efficient when they are full - stocking bottled water is also good storm preparation. Dishwashers and clothes washers should also be run when they are fully loaded to save water and electricity. As the peak hours for electric usage are between 4 and 6 p.m., running equipment at night will keep the house cooler and reduce strain on the public power supply. If you're buying new appliances, consider "Energy Star" qualified models for the most efficient technologies.
Additional tips can be found on the Public Utility Commission Website.
Winter Weather Tips
Find Winter Weather Tips (PDF).