Conservation Tips

Heating and Cooling

For cooling, the recommended thermostat setting is 78 degrees or higher. In the winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.

Use of fans, ceiling type or oscillating, along with your air conditioner will allow you to feel more comfortable at a higher temperature.   Use fans in occupied rooms only - they cool people, not houses.

For every degree you can adjust the thermostat, you will save 6% on your cooling cost and 7-10% on your heating costs.

Shade the south and west windows to keep the hot sun out. Use exterior shading from trees, shrubs, or trellis vines that tend to lose their leaves in winter, or use awnings or shutters. Keeping the drapes or blinds closed will also help lower cooling costs.   Avoid using aluminum foil on windows. While the foil may reflect the sunlight, it often raises the temperature at the windows.

Replace or clean monthly AC system filters. This tip increases cooling system efficiency.

Keep the fan switch on a central AC system thermostat set to the "auto" (not “on”) position when the unit is running. “Auto” provides better cooling and humidity control. Having the AC fan switch "On" continuously can add an extra $25 per month to your electric bill.

Don’t close or shut off central-system air vents in unoccupied rooms. By design, central AC and heating systems are sized and constructed to distribute a specific quantity of air throughout a home. Closed vents may alter the amount of air moved and disturb the balance and operation of the system. This may result in reduced operating efficiency and increased operating costs. Unless your home and cooling/heating systems are specially designed to maintain different temperature zones, don’t close air vents as an energy saving practice.


Don’t block AC registers and return vents with furniture or drapes.


Electric Water Heaters

Use hot water only when necessary.  Use cold water when you rinse dishes.

Check hot water lines and faucets for leaks. A leaky faucet will result in money down the drain.

Set the water heater thermostats to 120 degrees (upper) and 110 degrees (lower) if not using a dishwasher and 140 degrees (upper) and 130 degrees (lower) if using a dishwasher that does not have its own temperature sensor or water temperature boost.        

Electric Stoves

To save energy when using an electric stove, cook in covered pots and pans.

Try to bake several foods at one time. Don’t be an "oven peeker." You can lose up to 25 degrees each time you open the oven door.

Self-cleaning ranges conserve electricity because they have added insulation.     

Turn off exhaust fans when they aren’t needed.  They send warm air from inside your home to the outside.

Don’t use your stove to heat your home.

Use your microwave or countertop appliances for cooking instead of your stove or oven.  They can save up to 30 % of the energy required to cook or reheat food in a conventional oven.


Refrigerators and Freezers

Don’t open and close the refrigerator or freezer door more than necessary.

Replace worn gaskets so doors seal tightly.

Dust coils regularly to keep unit from "working overtime."

Be sure to set thermostat properly.

If possible, keep your refrigerator/freezer full, it works more efficiently.

Clothes Washers and Dryers

Use the washer and dryer with full loads only. Use cold water when possible.

Keep the dryer’s lint filter clean. A dirty filter increases drying time.

Inspect the vent hose for potential blockage or restrictions.


Turn off all unnecessary lights.

Use lower wattage bulbs for decorative lighting.

Fluorescent lighting is cooler and more efficient than incandescent.

For night lighting, use clock timers or photo-electric cells that turn lights on and off automatically.

Beware of Energy Vampires!

They are everywhere; TVs, DVD players, cell phone chargers, power adapters, computers and electronic devices. Most draw power whenever they’re plugged into an outlet, regardless of whether the device battery is fully charged—or even connected. They may draw only a small amount of power, but collectively it adds up over a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week period of time.

What you can do to help combat the vampires

Reduce your consumption

Unplug devices when not in use

 To avoid having to unplug, plug them into a power strip or surge protector that can be turned off with a single switch

Use a timer to automate the turning on and off

When buying an appliance or device choose an Energy Star© model, they use less energy during both regular use and standby operation.

Avoid purchasing products with all the “Bells and Whistles” you won’t use.  An example is a clock on the coffee pot.

Did you know that if you replace five incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star Compact Fluorescent light bulbs you will save 62 kWh in a month? This is a savings of about $8 on your monthly electric bill and if you replace them with LED lights the savings is even greater. Here are a few additional money saving tips:

  • Washing your clothes in cold water and not using hot water also saves you $9 per month on your electric bill.
  • Turn off lights, ceiling fans, appliances, television sets, stereos and computers when not in use and save about 58 kWh or $7 per month.
  • Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher during the summer months when you are at home and 85 degrees when you are away from home. In Florida, the cost to cool a home is about 50% of a typical energy bill.
A typical home uses 250-1000 kilowatt-hours for air conditioning. To be more energy efficient with air conditioning throughout your home follow these tips:
  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or as high as comfort permits.
  • Close your blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day.
  • Check and clean or replace air filters every month.
  • Clean the outside condenser coil once per year.

Lakeland Electric offers free energy inspections conducted at your home by our very own Energy Analysts. A Lakeland Electric Energy Analyst will survey your home's insulation, duct work, water heating, cooling & heating systems to measure the overall efficiency. You'll then be provided with energysaving recommendations and other cost-effective energy-saving measures.

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Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) require less energy than typical incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer

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