This year is rapidly drawing to a close and that means the holiday lighting season is back. If your home space is in need of a decorative refresh, here are some tips to take your artistic stylings to the next level. There are two areas to cover, so let’s get started. Safety is up first. If your lights are ground mounted or can be installed standing on the floor or ground, you can skip ahead.

The appeal of electric vehicles is gaining momentum. The push for greater mileage in terms of MPG that began in the second half of the last century has been joined by the push for greater miles per charge. EVs have a bright future. Prices are dropping and range is expanding so owners can confidently drive nearly everywhere with a little bit of planning. On top of this, the cars are just plain cool. 

Halloween is scary! Phantom or vampire loads can be even scarier when it comes to your electric bill. Vampire loads come from devices that use electricity, even when they appear to be off. The primary culprits are chargers, set-top television boxes, instant-on televisions and gaming systems. There are others, but these four represent the major offenders.These vampire loads are approaching 10 percent of average household electric use according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  Still, there are some steps you can take to keep these vampire loads in check. 

Summer is the month for DIY projects around the home. You have to make sure you are taking all the precautions you can to be safe. Check out DEC's electrical safety tips before starting in on any electrical endeavors.

While your energy bill might not be the first thing you think of when the temperature starts to rise, warmer weather means different habits are in order to save you money. Follow these tips to keep you and your energy bill cool all summer long!

As the proliferation of electronics impacts our daily lives, we realize there simply are not enough outlets in our homes. This is particularly true for older homes. As a result, we end up with a number of “outlet expanders,” more commonly known as power strips.

Power strips are generic and fulfill a very simple function. They are inexpensive, and the quality, I suspect, is on par with the price.

 While saving money through greater energy efficiency may be a year-round objective for many consumers, the way to achieve this goal will vary by season. There are a number of factors that impact energy efficiency, including weather, the age and condition of the home, and desired comfort levels. During fall and winter months, when the outdoor temperature is chilly, consumers desire a warm home and seek to keep the cold air out. Conversely, in the spring and summer, the focus is on keeping the hot air from infiltrating cool abodes.

 

Ah, the Digital Age. We have gadgets galore, the ability to manage our homes in new and innovative ways, brilliant images and captivating sounds of modern entertainment options and of course, the internet. Clearly, digital devices reign supreme. Yet these cool new capabilities come with a couple of pitfalls; vampire loads and the issue of “technology reincarnation.” Over the course of the Digital Age, electricity use has continued to increase. Families have multiple televisions. Computer prices have plummeted, meaning many homes now have multiple computers.

DE Electric Coop/Energize Delaware Article

Want to save money and energy while saving our planet?

The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility’s Energize Delaware programs make it easy. Whether you’re a home owner, business owner, school, nonprofit, church or farm, there is a program to help you save money on your utility bills. Here are just a few:

Home Performance with Energy Star®

Your refrigerator is one of the largest, most-used appliances in your home. It requires only minimal maintenance – just simple cleaning of the condenser coils, which disperse heat. If the coils are covered with dust, gunk or pet hair, they cannot diffuse the heat properly and will not run efficiently. A bigger problem can result if the compressor burns out from having to run constantly because of the grimy coating. This can be an expensive problem. The bottom line? A minor investment in time once a year can save you cold cash down the line.

A starting point for savings

While most homeowners would like to be more energy efficient and save money, often it feels overwhelming because many people don’t know where to start. How can the average family use less energy, lower their utility bill and still meet their daily energy needs? To help jumpstart your effort, it is useful to know what the top energy users are in your home. With this knowledge, you can choose a path that works best for your family. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the top five energy users in U.S. homes are:

Did you know heating and cooling accounts for roughly half of your home’s energy use? Caulking cracks and gaps around windows, doors and spaces around wires (telephone, electrical, cable and gas lines), water spigots and dryer vents can pay off with big energy savings.

*Approximate cost: $5-$30 *Energy savings: Approx. 5-10 percent – Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

Materials You Will Need:

Caulk, caulk gun, knife or tool to cut, rags, water

Think of the name, “heat pump.” It likely conjures all sorts of images to mind, none of which reflect the fact that these systems operate using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Yes, I hear the groans, but stick with me; it isn’t going to be that bad, and you may learn something new!

There are two basic types of heat pump technology – air source and ground source. In an air source heat pump, the equipment uses the outside air to provide the means for heating and cooling your home. A ground source heat pump uses good old Mother Earth’s dirt.

Don’t be fooled; a popping sound or smoke means a CFL’s end-of-life mechanism works. Worried when you hear a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) pop or sizzle? Despite confusion caused by an email hoax circulating since April 2010, these sounds signal the bulb is working safely in its final hours. Smoke, a popping noise, and even a slight odor are typical and do not pose a fire risk as claimed in the misleading email.

Here are some simple steps to save money this holiday season in the kitchen! Cut baking temperatures by 25 degrees with a ceramic or glass pan. These pans retain heat better than metal. Use the oven wisely by cooking in large batches, and fit pans into all available oven space. Keep the door closed. Each time you peek into the oven you let out hot air, causing the oven to work overtime to bring the temperature back up. Get to know how long it takes to preheat your oven and make sure you’re ready to start cooking right away.