Energy Efficiency

Working together to meet energy goals and ensure a supply of low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity.

Energy Efficiency

IMPA works with its member utilities to serve YOU – our members' customers, our neighbors, our friends. Together, we are dedicated to helping customers learn more about energy efficiency, conservation, electric safety, renewable energy and climate change. Together, we are providing a wide array of services to help customers meet their energy goals and ensure a supply of low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity for generations to come.

Anyone can make their home more energy efficient, whether by taking small steps or large ones. There are several everyday tips you can follow to jump-start your energy conservation efforts. Explore the various links below to learn more ways you can reduce your energy usage and save money.

Additionally, customers served by an IMPA member utility can participate in the IMPA Energy Efficiency Program. The program offers cash incentive opportunities to residents and businesses for saving money and energy. Through the program, customers can save money through incentives for implementing energy-saving measures. Incentives are currently available in the areas of energy efficient lighting, variable frequency drives, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as refrigeration, food service and controls. Learn more about the program here to find out what options may be available for you.

Energy Efficiency Tips

  • Appliances

    Appliances account for 20 percent of your electric bill. Refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers use the most energy. Here are some simple tips to reduce your costs and energy consumption.

  • Refrigerators

    - Clean condenser coils every three months or less. Dust reduces the efficiency of the unit and increases energy consumption.
    - Check the seal on your refrigerator door. Close the door over a piece of paper and try to pull the paper out. If it comes out easily, you should have the seal replaced.
    - Keep the temperature in your refrigerator at 37 to 40 degrees and in your freezer at five degrees. Check the temperature by placing an appliance thermometer in a glass of water inside for 24 hours.

    - Cover liquids and wrap foods that are stored in the refrigerator to keep it from working too hard. Liquids and food release moisture that can cause the unit to be less efficient.
    - Wait for food to cool before placing it in the unit. The refrigerator will have to work harder to bring the food to the temperature inside.
    - Only keep the door open as long as necessary!


  • Range and Oven

    - Use a microwave whenever possible. They only use a third to half of the energy that a conventional oven uses.
    - Make sure the seal on the oven door is tight.
    - Try not to open the oven too much when baking. You lose 20 percent of the heat inside each time it is opened.
    - Use lids on pots and pans and cook at lower settings.
    - Use the burner size that best fits the pot you use. Heat and energy are wasted if you use a burner that is larger than the pot.

    - Turn the oven off right before the food is finished cooking. Let the remaining heat finish the cooking.
    - If the flame for your pilot light and burner is yellow (it should be blue), the port needs to be unclogged or adjusted. You can use a pipe cleaner to clean it – just make sure it has cooled off!
    - A gas burner only uses 55 percent of the energy it produces and traditional electric ranges only use 65 percent. Get an induction cooktop, which uses 90 percent of the energy it produces.

  • Energy Calculators

    Making a few changes in your home could mean substantial savings on your energy bill. IMPA has links to several different calculators, including ones for lighting, appliances, and your whole home, that can give you some insight into your home energy use and provide tips to reduce that usage.

  • Home Office & Electronics

    - Try to buy energy efficient office equipment. An Energy Star computer uses 70 percent less energy than other computers.
    - Be sure to turn off your machines when they aren’t in use.
    - Unplug or turn off (if possible) the AC adapter for your laptop when the laptop is not plugged in. Even though the laptop isn’t charging, the adaptor is pulling electricity from the outlet.
    - Screen savers don’t save energy. If you walk away from your computer often, program it to “hibernate” or turn off your monitor.
    - Overall, laptops use less energy than a desktop computer, so make the switch!

  • Electronics

    - Buy electronics with the Energy Star label.
    - Appliances continue to draw energy from the outlet even when they are turned off. These are called phantom loads. Unplug the appliance or use a power strip to turn off the electrical supply when they aren’t in use. This includes televisions, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, computers and kitchen appliances. About 75 percent of the electricity used by electronics is consumed when the products are turned off.
    - Unplug battery chargers.
    - Use rechargeable batteries.

  • Lighting

    Besides just turning off the light when leaving a room, you can do more to conserve energy and save money. Consider updating the lightbulbs in your home to Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LED bulbs produce light approximately 90% more efficiently than standard incandescents!

  • Heating and Cooling

    Did you know that nearly 45% of your utility bill goes toward heating and cooling your home? With such a large percentage of home energy dedicated to heating and cooling, you also have a great opportunity to make a big change in your utility bill. From simple to serious changes, your choices can have a dramatic impact on energy use and costs per year.

  • Heating

    - Clean and replace your filters monthly to lengthen the life of your system.
    - Keep furniture and drapes away from heating vents and radiator valves so air can flow freely.
    - Keep your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter. Every degree over 68 adds three percent more energy usage to your utility bill.
    - Use the sunlight to heat your house. Keep blinds and curtains open during the day and closed at night.
    - Purchase a programmable thermostat and program it to turn off when you leave and to come on right before you get home.

    Cooling

    - Change your filters monthly and have regular maintenance performed by professionals.
    - Insulate leaks or separations at the joint of your unit. You can use mastic, butyl tape, foil tape or other heat-approved tapes.
    - Close vents in rooms that are not in use and keep the door shut to prevent heating or cooling an extra room.
    - Purchase a programmable thermostat and program it to turn off when you’re not home and to come on right before you get home.
    - In mild temperatures, open your windows. Keep blinds and curtains closed when the sun is brightest.
    - Use ceiling fans and stand-alone fans to keep cool.

  • Both Heating & Cooling

    - Caulk and weather-strip leaks in your house. If properly sealed, you can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling. Seal anywhere you feel a draft, including areas where plumbing, ductwork or electrical wiring go through exterior walls. Also check attics, basements and crawlspaces.
    - Install storm doors and windows for an additional layer of insulation.
    - Insulate attics, basements, living areas and crawlspaces. Your local home improvement store can help you decide which type – fiberglass, cellulose, rigid foam board, spray foam – is best for your home. If you can only do one place in your home, make it the attic!

  • Water

    Water use can account for up to 13 percent of your utility bill. Reduce your usage:

    - Install low-flow faucets and showerheads
    - Take showers instead of baths
    - Repair leaky faucets ASAP!
    - Don’t water the cement – aim only for your lawn.
    - Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle.
    - Only run full loads of laundry or dishes.
    - Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. A setting of 120 degrees is suitable.
    - Insulate your water heater to prevent heat from escaping around the tank.

Electric Safety

  • Tips for staying safe indoors:

    - Always unplug appliances before you clean them.
    - Don’t overload outlets with cords.
    - Have your circuits and wiring checked if your fuses or circuit breakers blow often.
    - Unplug small appliances when you’re done using them and move them to the back of your counters.
    - Use all three prongs of your electric plugs and replace worn cords immediately. Never force a plug into an outlet or tack cords to walls or floors.
    - Never stick anything other than an electrical plug into an outlet. Teach kids the same. Use outlet covers when kids are too young to understand.
    - Keep appliances away from water and sinks. Only use appliances that are approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL should be on the label).


    - Give your appliances room to breathe all the way around the unit. Don’t use them in cabinets or too close to walls.
    - Level your appliances so they don’t tip. Too much movement can cause stress on electrical connections – especially with clothes washers and dryers.
    - Be careful not to knock over space heaters or keep them near combustibles.
    - Keep electric blankets in good condition and watch for breaks in the wiring, plugs or connectors. Look for charred spots. Don’t place other bedding on top of an electrical blanket and don’t let pets sleep on them to avoid overheating.
    - Don’t run cords under carpets or furniture, which can overheat and cause a fire.
    - Never unplug anything by pulling the cord. Use the base of the plug to remove it from the outlet.

  • Tips for staying safe outside:

    - Outdoor outlets should be on a circuit protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFI).
    - Don’t fly kites near power lines.
    - Don’t climb trees near power lines.
    - Keep television and radio antennas away from power lines.
    - If you have overhead power lines, be cautious of the drop line from the utility pole to your house. Don’t touch it or let other wires touch it.
    - Overhead powers lines are NOT insulated, so don’t touch them!
    - Don’t let kids play near pad-mounted transformers.
    - Before digging, call 811 to have your underground power lines located.
    - Never touch a downed power line or try to remove it if it hits a car. Call the electric company immediately.

  • If an accident occurs:

    - If a power line is down, don’t touch it. Call your electric company and warn others. If a power line falls on your car while you are in it, stay inside unless it catches fire. If it catches fire, jump clear of the car and power line without touching metal and the ground at the same time.

    - When someone receives an electric shock, their breathing and heartbeat could stop. Shocks can also burn skin, nerves, tissue and muscles inside the body. Do not touch the person or attempt to move them. Turn off the main power source and call 911. If the person is not breathing or the person’s heart has stopped, make sure that he/she is not connected to the source of electric shock and perform CPR.