Energy Conservation



 

 

 

 

 


Over 50% of the oil used in the U.S. comes from foreign sources. In contrast, 90 percent of the natural gas used domestically comes from the continental U.S.

||| CONSERVATION |||

Electricity is domestically generated, but it's far from efficient. The process of generating electricity can consume tremendous amounts of natural resources. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by the time electricity goes from its source to an appliance, its overall efficiency is only about 29 percent.

Natural gas, which is efficiently transported from its sources via pipelines, offers source efficiency of around 91%. Choosing natural gas as your primary fuel is a great way to conserve natural resources and reduce our country's dependence of foreign energy.

Being conscious of energy usage and making wise choices when you buy new home appliances will reduce your energy costs...and help future generations of Americans.

When it's time to replace a heating system, a range, a dryer or a water heater - or when you're designing or buying a new home - remember that natural gas a fuel source is much more efficient than electricity. And, gas appliances cost much less to operate, too!
  • Have air conditioning equipment sized by a qualified professional and serviced regularly
  • When air conditioning is used, keep windows and doors shut. Check the seals periodically to prevent cold air from leaking out.
  • Turn off electric stereos, televisions, computers and lights when not in use and consider connecting lights to dimmer switches or timers.
  • Fill the sink or a dishpan with hot water to wash dishes by hand, rather than letting the hot water run down the drain. Use cool water to rinse.
  • Keep air intake and ventilation panels on refrigerators clean and unobstructed. Built-up dust and lint can make your refrigerator motor work overtime
  • Don't run your disposal unnecessarily. Use cold water to help solidify fats for easier disposing.

Gas cooking equipment offers precision performance even during electric power outages. And, a gas range can cook two meals for the cost of one cooked electrically.

  • Keep burners clean and adjusted for efficient combustion. Gas flames should always be blue.
  • Fit the pan to the burner size; a small pot on a big burner wastes heat. Never let the flame extend beyond the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring food to a boil, then reduce heat and continue cooking.
  • Whenever practical, keep pots and pans tightly covered while cooking.
  • Wok cooking, quickly over high heat, is an efficient use of fuel.
  • Be sure all burners are off when not in use.
  • Oven cooking is more efficient than range-top cooking because the heat stays in the over rather than being lost to the air.
  • There's no need to preheat a gas oven except for delicate cakes and cookies.
  • Baking and roasting in ceramic or ovenproof glass cookware allows you to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
  • Don't open the oven while baking. To retain heat and save energy, cook by time and temperature instead.
  • Always broil with the oven door closed. It's more efficient and keeps the kitchen cooler. Gas broilers need not be preheated.
  • Consider replacing your old gas range. New models have a pilotless ignition system that uses up to 40% less gas.

Next to space conditioning, water heating consumes the largest amount of energy in most homes. For this reason it makes sense to use the most efficient and economical water heater. A gas water heater heats water twice as fast as electric models and will save you up to $200 a year in energy costs.
A combination of the following conservation tips can save you more than 20% on the water-heating portion of your bill.

  • Don't use the "hot" setting on your gas water heater thermostat. Turning it down to "warm" (about 120 degrees F) can reduce gas consumption by up to 8%.
  • Turning the setting down as far as it will go (usually counterclockwise) during non-use periods can reduce gas up to 10%. Refer to your owner's manual for detailed instructions. Using the ON/PILOT/OFF knob instead of the thermostat causes premature wear and is not recommended.
  • Replace your old gas water heater with a newer model and you'll reduce gas usage by 20%, thanks to improved tank insulation.
  • Repair water leaks promptly. A pinhole leak can waste more than 429 gallons of hot water each month!
  • Insulate your water heater tank and pipes. Just 1-1/2 inches of extra insulation reduces heat loss and can cut gas energy use by 8%.
  • Every other year, flush water from the bottom drain of the water heater to remove sediment. Follow manufacturer's instructions or contact a licensed plumbing contractor for assistance.
  • Install a flow restriction device on a low-flow shower-head to minimize hot water use.
  • Take faster showers or use less than a full tub of water.
  • Install aerators on your faucets.
  • Don't let hot water run unnecessarily.

A laundry room equipped with a gas dryer and water heater will save you loads of time and energy.

DRYER TIPS
A gas dryer will dry three loads for the cost of one dried electrically. Newer gas dryers with pilotless ignition systems can reduce gas energy usage by as much as 15%. Here are more ways to save:

  • Remove any accumulated material from the exterior moisture exhaust duct.
  • Sort wash loads so that heavy and light items can be dried separately. Use brief time settings and low heat for light garments, longer settings only heavy items such as towels.
  • Use the correct cycle for the fabric being dried.
  • Remove clothes as soon they're dry to reduce wrinkles and ironing.
  • Be careful not to over-dry. Tumbling a dry load damages fabrics and wastes energy.
  • Avoid overloading or running partial loads.
  • Clean the lint screen after each load to cut down on drying time.

WASHER TIPS

  • Hot water accounts for 90% of the energy used by the washing machine. Wash in cold water when possible.
  • Use the soak or pre-soak cycle for heavily soiled items instead of washing them twice. You save energy and your clothes will last longer.

An energy-efficient natural gas space heating system will save you hundreds of dollars each year when compared to electric strip heating or a heat pump. The following tips will help you save even more:

  • Set thermostats to 65-70 degrees during the day and at least 5 degrees lower when sleeping. (Warmer temperatures are recommended for homes with ill or elderly persons and/or infants.
  • Lower thermostats to 58 degrees when away from home for more than a few hours. (Less energy is used to bring your home up to the desired temperature than is used to maintain that temperature.
  • Insulate to hold on to the heat you pay for. The Council of American Building Officials recommends a minimum R-Value of 30 in your area for ceilings and attics of new homes.
  • Close vents and doors in areas of the home that do not need to be heated.
  • Change or clean filters in heating units at least twice a year and have system regularly maintained by a qualified contractor.
  • Seal leaks around doors and windows with caulking or weatherstripping.
  • Install storm or thermal windows and doors, double paned glass or plastic sheeting to retain heat.
  • Open shades and draperies to take advantage of the sun's warmth.

 

When shopping for any new household appliances or equipment, it's important to compare efficiency ratings and annual operating costs. A slightly higher initial cost for a more efficient unit can be quickly recovered through lower utility bills.

A home equipped with natural gas heating, water heating, clothes drying, cooking, outdoor lighting and hearth equipment will not only help you to conserve valuable natural resources, but will also save you as much as $560 a year in energy costs. *

Call South Coast Gas Co., Inc. to find out how easy it is to save energy and money by switching to efficient natural gas.

*comparison based on average annual consumption of an 1800 square foot home in south Louisiana. Cost of gas 1.01/Ccf. cost of electricity .088/kWh.


Here's another way to contact us! Email pchiasson@southcoastgasco.com

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