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Town Talk: Tips to save on your electric bill

New Ulm Public Utilities (NUPU) is celebrating Public Power Week (#PublicPowerWeek), Oct. 3-9, along with the American Public Power Association and more than 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to 49 million Americans.

This year, we recognize the people behind public power. Our dedicated staff from various departments care about helping customers receive the most optimal services, at a low cost. To mark Public Power Week, NUPU offers these tips on how to save energy and money in your home, while caring for the environment and the community we live in:

• Plug energy leaks with weather stripping and caulking and be sure your house is properly insulated — you can save up to 20 percent on heating/cooling bills and make your home more comfortable.

• Clean or change filters regularly. A dirty furnace or air conditioning filter will slow airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool.

• Install a programmable thermostat to save up to 10 percent on cooling and heating costs.

• Wash clothes in cold water. Heating the water in a washer uses 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes. According to Energy Star, by switching to cold water, you can save $30-$40 every year.

• Use energy-efficient light bulbs such as LEDs to reduce energy use by as much as 80 percent.

• Turn off all lights, appliances, and electronics not in use. Better still, use a power strip and turn off devices and lights that are not in use to cut standby power, better known as VAMPIRE LOADS, to save $100 a year on your electricity bill.

• To save energy at home, replace incandescent bulbs with energy saving lights. LED lights use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs while lasting up to 25 times longer

• Conserve energy by turning off and unplugging all electrical devices that aren’t in use.

“We know that using energy wisely to lower monthly electric bills is important to New Ulm residents,” said Kris Manderfeld-Utilities Director. “While we are sharing these tips during Public Power Week, we hope our community will keep an eye on energy efficiency all year round.”

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