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1 ENERGY EFFICIENCY Summer GUIDE INSIDE: Keep Your Cool ABCs of Hot Water Heaters Tap Into Savings Evaporative Coolers idahopower.com/save

2 Questions Customers Ask By Theresa Drake, Manager of Customer Relations and Energy Efficiency Many of you contact Idaho Power with questions about your bills, our services and how you can save energy in your home. Here are answers to some questions you may be wondering about. Q: Do the new smart thermostats really save energy? A: Programmable thermostats, including over 50 brands of smart thermostats, can reduce energy use when programmed correctly. Smart thermostats are special because of their user-friendly design. They are WiFi enabled so you can control your home s temperature from a smart phone or PC with an app. Remember, though, a thermostat is just a tool. The real savings come from the choices you make, like raising your home s temperature in the summer and lowering it in the winter. You can do this now with any style thermostat. Q: I hear the words peak demand a lot. What does this mean? A: For an electric utility like Idaho Power, demand refers to the amount of electricity (watts) needed at a given time, where energy is the amount of electricity used over a period of time. In your home, peak demand is the highest 15 minutes of electricity use during the month. Your meter records peak demand and it currently shows as Billing kw (1,000 watts =1 kw) on your bill. The costs associated with demand are included in the price you pay per kilowatt-hour (kwh). Q: Can leaky faucets really increase energy use? A: Yes. A hot water drip can keep your water heater cycling and if you re on a well, a leak can keep your pump running. Fix leaks promptly to save energy and water! A faucet drip can add $6 or more a month to your power bill. A large leak can amount to as much as $300. Q: How do I know if my home is efficient? A: Building methods and appliance technologies have come a long way in the last 30 years. Building codes have also changed. A home built to today s code is about 30 percent more efficient than the best homes built in the 80s and 90s. To see how your home compares, register for myaccount at idahopower.com and complete a short questionnaire on the How I Use Energy tab. You can also schedule a home energy audit to take a deeper dive. Idaho Power has a Home Energy Audit program for electrically-heated homes. Learn more at idahopower.com/save. When it comes to energy efficiency, we live in exciting times! New building methods and products turn up daily. Your Idaho Power energy efficiency team is constantly looking for the best new savings opportunities to share with you. We hope this guide will spark ideas to help you begin saving today. 2

3 KEEP YOUR COOL Here are three ways to stay cool and comfortable while keeping your power bill in check. Maintain and use equipment wisely. Change your air conditioner (A/C) filter regularly and consider using a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature when you re away for long periods during the day. Keep the heat out and the cool in. Seal air leaks with spray foam, caulk or weatherstripping. Then check to see if you have enough insulation especially in the attic. Closing blinds to keep out the sun s warming rays can really help. Work with your body. Drink cool water and dress for the heat. Wear light colors, natural fibers (cotton, silk, linen) and less clothing at home. Since moist air feels warmer than dry air, use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to get rid of it fast. Then find ways to create air movement across your skin for natural cooling. 3

4 4 A Fantastic Idea Ancient Egyptians stayed cool by hanging wet blankets across the doors of their homes or, if they were royalty, having servants fan them across jugs of water. They knew that when hot, dry air passes over water it cools the air. Today, we use electric fans instead of servants, but the principle of cooling the air by evaporation is the same. When moving air passes over your skin, the evaporating moisture leaves you feeling about 4 degrees cooler allowing you to raise the A/C temperature without sacrificing comfort. The Energy/Water Connection What do water use and energy have in common? A lot! In fact, it s hard to use one without using the other. Think about it. It takes energy to collect, move, treat and heat the water for your home. And almost every power source from hydro to natural gas requires water in one form or another to produce electricity. Saving water saves energy. Water utilities use a lot of energy to deliver water to your home. And water treatment is a major energy expense for a city. The money they spend on energy gets passed on to you. In a very real way, part of your water and sewage bills are really energy bills. And when you use less hot water, you ll see direct savings on your energy bill. Saving energy saves water. In Idaho Power s power plants, water turns turbines, produces steam and cools equipment. Elsewhere, it s needed to extract and refine oil and grow biofuel crops. When we reduce our energy use, we reduce water use a particularly important contribution during drought years. When we consider energy and water together, we can make smarter choices that save money and preserve resources. Consider raising the temperature and using a fan to stay comfortable in occupied rooms. You can save 2 3 percent on cooling costs for each degree you bump it up. Letting your faucet run for five minutes can use as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.

5 Stay Out of Hot Water With your energy bill How much does your electric hot water heater cost to operate? The average U.S. household spends between $400 and $600 a year to heat water for showers, dishwashing, and other daily activities. As a result, heating water has become the second largest utility expense for the average U.S. household, representing 18 percent of home energy use. The good news is you can lower your energy bills by taking simple actions to reduce your hot water use. An Estimate of Hot Water Heating Costs Household Size Low Use Estimated Cost per Year High Use Estimated Cost per Year $128 $344 $200 $552 $280 $752 $368 $976 $448 $1,184 $528 $1,408 This chart estimates water heating costs for homes that have low use or high use (based on 10 cents per kwh). Your costs may fall somewhere in between. 5 Low Use estimates assume you have: High-efficiency showerheads (1.75 gpm) and faucet aerators (0.5 gpm) Hot water temperature set at 120 F Hot water tank insulation and pipe wrap 7-minute showers High-efficiency clothes washer that uses 20 gallons of water per use Higher-efficiency dishwasher that uses 7 gallons of water per use and/or shorter hand-washing time High Use estimates assume you have: Standard showerheads or faucet aerators Hot water temperature set at 140 F Some tank insulation with no pipe wrap 12-minute showers An older washing machine that uses 35 gallons of water per use An older dishwasher that uses 12 gallons of water per use and/or longer hand-washing time

6 ABCs The of Water Heaters With a typical life span of years, a water heater is one of your home s often-used but rarely seen appliances. Tucked away in a closet, basement or garage, it gets little or no attention until it breaks down. Exploring options before your water heater fails will help you find one that meets your needs and saves you money. You should consider type, size, fuel source, efficiency and cost. 64 Storage Water Heater Heat Pump Water Heater Solar Thermal Water Heater Tankless Water Heater The Old Standby: Storage water heaters are the most common type of water heater. They are often the least expensive, easiest to install, and can be fueled by either gas or electricity. An electric water heater typically heats a tank of water using heating elements controlled by thermostats. The design is simple; however, the technology is somewhat inefficient due to standby losses. 6 GALLONS The amount of water used by the average household EACH DAY 5 MILLION The number of homes that could be powered for a year with the electricity used to treat, pump and heat water in the U.S. *Sources: energy.gov/energysaver, energystar.gov and epa.gov

7 The ABCs of Water Heaters The New Guys in Town: Inefficiencies in tank water heaters and the development of new technologies have led to more efficient options. Here are three you may hear about: Heat pump water heaters use electricity and a refrigeration system to take heat from the air and put it into the tank to heat the water. They can be very efficient and effective, especially in warm climates. When they run, some cool the space around them. This is a benefit in the summer. However, in colder climates where winter heating is dominant, it can cause your heating system to run longer. This is because the water heater transfers heat from the room into the tank. If the water heater is inside your house, this heat must be replaced by your home heating system. Solar thermal water heating systems use the sun to heat water. They can be a good long-term investment, especially if your household uses a lot of water. However, they have higher up-front costs, are more complex to install and need a backup system to work well. Tankless or on-demand systems are placed near where the water is needed. Water is heated on demand, avoiding standby losses like you have with a tank water heater. When fueled by gas, they are effective and can provide a constant supply of hot water, but only up to a certain flow rate. Because of this, they may have trouble supplying enough hot water for many activities at once if they are not sized correctly. You may need multiple units for high use. Choosing a Water Heater This chart shows the pros and cons for the main types of water heaters. Depending on your use, paying more up front to improve efficiency can save over the long run. Cost Installation Efficiency Notes Storage (standard) $ Simple Will cost more to operate over time. Storage (efficient) $$ Simple A little higher up-front cost will pay dividends. Heat Pump (electric) $$$ Involved Rapidly improving technology. Solar Thermal $$$$ Complex Tankless (gas) $$$ Involved Costs have come down. A 30-percent federal tax credit will expire in May need backup system. Sizing is critical. You may need multiple units. 7

8 Appliances Each appliance you buy has two price tags the price you pay at the store and the price you pay to operate it. To save more, buy the most efficient appliance you can afford. It often costs less over the long run even if it costs a bit more up front. Choose ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR appliances are the most efficient products on the market. When compared to peers, they perform well and have the features buyers want. But more importantly, they have a proven return on investment (ROI) because of the energy savings they bring. Roughly one-third of all water heater purchases are emergency replacements. As a result, many consumers may not research the available options like they would with other major purchases. ENERGY STAR and WaterSense Most of us know we can save water if we turn off the tap while brushing our teeth (as much as 3,000 gallons per year!), but did you know that there are products that will help save water when the tap is on? ENERGY STAR and WaterSense have identified high-performance, water-efficient appliances, fixtures, water systems and accessories that reduce water use in the home. By saving water you also save energy, particularly when hot water is involved. Buy the size you need. Think carefully about the size. Bigger models use more energy but can be a good choice for large families. On the other hand, a model that s too small will need to run more often. Look for energy-saving features. Dishwashers with soil-sensors and clothes dryers with moisturesensors and automatic shutoffs are a good choice. If you participate in Time of Day pricing, delayed timers can help too. It costs about 10 times more to wash a load of laundry using hot water than cold water. Look for theses labels to find appliances and fixtures that reduce energy and water use without sacrificing performance. 8

9 Tap Into Savings 9 Any time you heat water, it takes energy. To find ways to save, consider the efficiency of your water heater, the pipes that move water to where you need it and the end appliance (i.e., the dishwasher, clothes washer or showerhead). Water Heater Set the right temperature for you It s common to find factory settings of 140 F. Use a thermometer to check the temperature at the faucet farthest from the water heater. If it s higher than 120 F, refer to the owner s manual or check online for instructions about how to turn it down. Check the temperature again when you re done. In addition to saving energy, you ll increase the life of the water heater and reduce the risk of scalding. Insulate your tank and pipes If your tank is in the garage or an unheated basement, it may be a good idea to insulate it with a water heater blanket purchased from a local hardware store. Check your warranty. Insulating the first 3 to 6 feet of the hot-water and cold-water supply lines with pipe wrap is also a good idea. Maintenance Over time, sediment from water can reduce efficiency. To help avoid this problem, flush a quart of water from the system periodically. Go online or refer to your owner s manual to learn more about regular maintenance. When it s time to buy On average, water heaters last about 13 years. If your tank is getting old, think about making a planned replacement instead of waiting until it fails. When it s urgent, you may be tempted to go for the quick fix rather than the best long-term choice. Water Use Faucets Save large amounts of hot water with little cost when you install WaterSense showerheads, faucets and faucet aerators. New high-efficiency showerheads use as little as 1.5 to 2 gallons per minute (gpm) without compromising water pressure. Before 1992, some had flow rates of 5.5 gpm, so replacing older models is a good idea. Drips and Leaks Find and fix them. A dripping hot water faucet or shower costs you more than you may think. Cold water leaks can be expensive too when they cause a well pump to keep running. Laundry To reduce costs, wash only full loads of laundry and use warm or cold water. Read your detergent label to make sure it works with cold water most do. Always rinse with cold water. Dishes An energy-efficient dishwasher may use less energy than washing by hand when you operate it with full loads and avoid using the heat-dry cycle. Lower your water heater temperature to 120 F without worry. Dishwashers now have on-board boosters to ensure the water is hot enough to clean your dishes.

10 10 Evaporative Coolers: An Age-old Cooling Technique If you ve ever tested the wind by holding a wet finger in the air, you ve used evaporative cooling. The same principle cools you off after a swim, and it also powers one of the oldest and simplest forms of air conditioning. Known in the U.S. as a swamp cooler, modern evaporative coolers are economical, efficient and rely on simple technology. Since they need a hot, dry climate to work well, they can be an excellent choice in this part of the country. How Does an Evaporative Cooler Work? When water evaporates, it sheds water molecules. As they float in the air, the molecules absorb heat. This cools the air down. Swamp coolers harness this reaction and circulate the now cooler, more humid air through the house. Essentially, a swamp cooler is a cabinet with a blower that sits outside of the house. A fan on one side draws air in from the outdoors and pushes it out the other side and into the house. Before the air goes into the house, it passes through a set of wet pads inside the cabinet, where the evaporation happens. A small pump keeps a bit of water flowing over the pads to keep them wet. Adjusting open windows typically controls the air flow to different parts of the house so ductwork isn t needed. Is An Evaporative Cooler Right for You? Swamp coolers are relatively low cost. Once installed, they use about one-fourth the electricity of an air conditioner and contain no ozone-depleting chemicals. But to avoid a damp smell, they do need routine removal of minerals and other water impurities that leave deposits inside. If you are looking for a lower-cost cooling option, have a steady supply of water, and don t mind a little maintenance, an evaporative cooler may be right for you. Receive a cash incentive when you install a qualified evaporative cooler. Learn more at idahopower.com/save. 200 The GALLONS amount of water a leaky toilet can waste per day. That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times! *Sources: energy.gov/energysaver, energystar.gov and epa.gov

11 11 Vacation Energy Savings The last thing you want to worry about while you re away is your power bill. Here are some basic steps to take before you leave town. Turn your water heater down to the vacation or lowest temperature setting. Turn off your A/C or raise the temperature. Consider carefully if you set your A/C to 85 degrees but it averages 100 degrees outside, your A/C will still provide 15 degrees of cooling to the empty house! Be mindful of pets. Turn off the lights and use security timers or motion sensors along with energy-efficient light bulbs to create a lived-in look. Consolidate food to one refrigerator and unplug the spare to give it a rest. Switch off computers and power strips and unplug small appliances and electronics. This will cut energy use 24/7 and reduce fire hazards. Because we want you to be happy when you return, please set realistic savings expectations and remember that: Extra laundry and other chores can increase energy use before you leave and when you return. Expected savings may be spread over two bills. Higher temperatures can increase use and offset savings. Sign up for myaccount at idahopower.com. When you return, you ll be able to see how your vacation affected your daily energy use. You can even check the energy use while you re away! NOW MOBILE FRIENDLY!

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