Gain Control over Rising Energy Costs

As the mercury rises out of control each summer, you may start to wonder about ways you can gain control over rising energy costs. Read on to learn three basic steps you can follow to keep your home cool as well as energy efficient.

Step 1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Do you reach for the thermostat as soon as you walk in the door to turn on the air? Or leave the system running all day long just to be ensured of a cool house when you arrive home? Stop wasting energy and customize your home's heating and cooling system to match YOUR schedule. The flexible 7-Day Programmable Thermostat lets you program custom schedules for each day of the week, rather than the basic weekday/weekend settings offered by some other programmable models. This model is perfect for anybody whose schedule varies throughout the week. Using this device, you can program the air to turn on at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday; 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday — or any other combination you can think of. Plus, you'll still have full manual control anytime you decide to make an adjustment. From wireless to IP options, a myriad of energy-saving programmable thermostats is available to match your needs.

Step 2. Automate Fans Based on Temperature

Activate any device based on weather, without the expense of an intelligent controller. Thermo Cubes plug into a standard 120VAC electrical outlet and automatically turn power on and off to any device plugged into it, depending on air temperature. By turning on devices only when they're needed, Thermo Cubes not only save electricity, they also reduce wear and tear on equipment. They can even help prevent severe weather catastrophes like endangerment of plants and animals due to excessive heat or frozen pipes.

Hot weather models available include the following:

Model #On TempOff Temp

Step 3. Replace Incandescent Bulbs With Energy-Efficient Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Want to get all the light you're accustomed to using only one-third the energy? Try replacing your standard, incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient Fluorescent Light Bulbs, which come in a variety of wattages, including versions that can be dimmed!

How much can you save? That depends on how many you use. For example, if you replace 10 standard 3-way bulbs with 10 compact fluorescent 3-way bulbs, you can reduce your bill by nearly $14 a month! At that rate, they'll virtually pay for themselves after only 9 months — and that's with a bulb lifespan up to 5 to 10 times that of incandescent bulbs. (Figures based on 12 cents per kilowatt hour at an average of 5 hours of use per day).

Note for X10 Users: If you've tried to control fluorescent lights with X10 modules in the past and had an unpleasant experience, you'll be pleasantly surprised with some of these models. These bulbs inject just about zero noise onto the line, making them the only fluorescent light bulbs we've tested that won't cause problems with your X10. For X10 operation, we recommend using non-dimming appliance modules, like the Insteon ApplianceLinc, although lamp modules will work if they are not dimmed.

Try some or all of these methods today, and you'll be amazed at how much you can reduce your energy costs!