Attention Members: Check out our monthly newsletter published in Ruralite Magazine to find out simple ways to reserve and save energy!

Here are a few of our favorite helpful tips:

Electric Heat/Thermostat

  • Lower the thermostat and dress warmer (68 degrees is recommended).   It only takes 1-3 degrees to make a huge difference in energy usage.
  • Lower your thermostat at night and when no one is at home. Close off and don’t heat unoccupied rooms (unless you have a heat pump). Use flannel sheets and extra blankets to keep warm at night.  Using an electric blanket to warm up the bed at night also can provide savings (if you turn your heat down at night). Wear extra clothes (sweaters) and thick socks.

Windows & Doors

  • During cooler seasons, open south-facing window coverings during the day.  Close all window coverings at night to keep the heat in.
  • During warmer seasons put up blackout curtains or curtains that block sunlight to keep in cool air (Eclipse is one brand to look for).
  • Make sure you have weather stripping, door sweeps, and thresholds.  Add additional caulking around windows and doors.  Draft blockers or even rolled up towels can be used in front of doors to control temperature. 

Water Heating

  • Lower the temperature on your electric water heater to 120 degrees.
  • If using a dishwasher, wash only full loads of dishes and let air dry.
  • When washing clothes, use warm or cold water and rinse with cold and let clothes air dry.
  • Install a low-flow shower head.  Showers use less hot water than baths; also consider taking shorter showers.


  • Set refrigerator temperatures between 37 & 40 degrees (f).  Clean the coils, vacuum underneath and behind the refrigerator and freezer.  Keep the refrigerator & freezer stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty one.
  • Consider replacing your older model refrigerator, especially if older than 10 years.
  • Use a microwave or toaster oven for smaller items. Turn appliances off when not using them, use surge protector power strips to plug things in and then turn off the whole strip to keep from using “phantom power”.


  • Use CFL (those curly light bulbs) or LED light bulbs.
  • Shut off lights when not in use.
  • Use natural light as much as possible.

Around the House 

  • Close your fireplace damper and seal the opening shut when not in use.
  • Install foam gaskets behind electric-outlet and switch-plate covers.
  • Keep insulation fresh and add additional insulation in your attic, floor, and walls.

Remember to Check on “Phantom” Loads

  • TV, Game system, sound system, computer, cell phone charger, etc. all use power constantly when plugged in.  Use surge protector power strips and turn them off when not in use.
  • Be sure to check out the interactive home guide on our “Touchstone Together We Save” page, as well as the links below for more helpful tips.

U.S. Department of Energy

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Home Energy Magazine