All the more reason to keep conservation in mind, which is a concept Bountiful Light & Power has implemented to some degree – and is planning to expand next year.
Allen Johnson, the power department director, said “Bountiful is putting together something for next year’s power budget (which starts July 1, 2009).”
Part of that effort is to meet the state’s “good stewardship” goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy use by 2025.
“We are in the process of working on this, but it’s still in the infancy stages,” Johnson emphasized.
But there are already some concrete conservation measures in place, with one to be highlighted soon as Christmas lights get turned on.
“New LED (light emitting diode) lights on Main Street were put in place last year,” Johnson said, promoting energy conservation.
In addition, for the past decade or so, customers can still receive a 50-cent a month discount on their power bills when using LED light bulbs, which can be leased from the city, he said.
“We’ve had a program to push use of these compact fluorescent lights, still have it if people want, but it’s more encouragement to purchase than to lease,” Johnson said. Under that program, if a light bulb burns out, the city will replace it.
The change in focus to customers purchasing LED lights comes as prices have dramatically dropped, to maybe $2 or $3 a bulb.
The cost of lighting can add up to more than one-fifth of a typical residential electric bill, information from BP&L posted on the city Web site indicates.
Among suggestions posted to reduce power consumption: review how your lighting is arranged, putting table and floor lamps in corners, if possible, where light will reflect off two walls instead of one.
Also, use natural lighting whenever possible. Keep blinds and drapes open during the day to reduce energy use. Cut down on wattage. One 100-watt bulb produces more light than two 60-watt bulbs. Fluorescent lighting gives more light for your energy dollar. A 40-watt Fluorescent tube produces more light than a 100-watt bulb at half the energy cost.
The city’s Beacon Light program allows power customers to use small Fluorescent lights in most light fixtures. More information is available by calling the power department at 298-6065.
“Even though it may seem cliche, the best way to conserve light energy is simply to turn off the lights when you’re not using them,” the site notes.
To feel as cozy and warm as possible, here are some energy-saving tips: examine heating ducts, windows, and doors to make sure they have the proper insulation; weather stripping doors and windows, especially those leading to unheated spaces, such as porches, attics, garages or basements, can be helpful.
Trees can be a useful heater. Plant deciduous trees on the south side of your home. These trees will let sunlight through in the winter, but keep your home nice and shady in the summer. Plant coniferous trees on the side of your home facing the prevailing winds for extra insulation.
Other hints: don’t block heating vents, radiators, or registers with your furniture or other items. Replace the furnace filter monthly, depending on furnace type; use space heaters sparingly, because they can be expensive to operate; lower the thermostat, with each 1 degree drop saving 3 percent in energy costs.
In the kitchen, cover pots and pans, allowing them to heat faster. Try to match the size of pots and pans with burner size, preventing wasted heat. Microwaves, electric frying pans and toaster ovens can often be quicker and more economical than an electric range. Use an oven light to check oven contents, with door opening allowing heat to escape.
Keep the refrigerator door closed, and use dishwasher only with a full load. The air-dry function saves energy.
Turn off computers when not in use for a long time. But don’t turn a computer off and on constantly. Turn off speakers, printers and scanners when not in use.
For more information, check the websites www.powerforward.utah.gov, www.energy.gov.