August 2016 (2)
May 2016 (1)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (1)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
October 2015 (1)
August 2015 (1)
June 2015 (1)
May 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
January 2015 (1)
November 2014 (2)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (6)
August 2014 (1)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (1)
March 2014 (3)
February 2014 (2)
January 2014 (1)
November 2013 (3)
October 2013 (1)
August 2013 (3)
July 2013 (4)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (2)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (6)
November 2012 (9)
October 2012 (10)
September 2012 (9)
August 2012 (14)
July 2012 (17)
June 2012 (14)
May 2012 (13)
April 2012 (18)
March 2012 (14)
February 2012 (10)
January 2012 (12)
December 2011 (8)
November 2011 (11)
October 2011 (10)
September 2011 (13)
August 2011 (10)
July 2011 (6)
June 2011 (12)
May 2011 (8)
April 2011 (8)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (6)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (8)
November 2010 (17)
October 2010 (8)
September 2010 (12)
August 2010 (15)
July 2010 (10)
June 2010 (15)
May 2010 (9)
April 2010 (11)
March 2010 (13)
February 2010 (10)
January 2010 (14)
December 2009 (14)
November 2009 (10)
October 2009 (17)
September 2009 (20)
August 2009 (18)
July 2009 (22)
June 2009 (12)
Answering Questions
Avista Utilities
Clark Fork
Community Service
Customer Service
Energy Assistance
Energy Efficiency
Environment Facts
Hydro power
Infrastructure upgrades
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Natural Gas
Power Outages
Reliability Facts
Renewable Energy
Renewable Facts
Smart Grid
Spokane River

Energy saving tips for the college crowd   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Energy Efficiency

Power strip
Post by Sarah Hilbert
Been on spring break yet? Here’s some tips that could help give your energy use a break.

If you’re a college student, depending on which school you attend, you may have recently returned from a much needed spring break. Or, you may be counting down the days to one coming up. Either way, if you’re a college student who rents, then here’s some low-cost, no-cost ways to save energy while you are at home or away enjoying your break. Even if you rent an apartment, townhouse or a home, you can make a difference on your energy bill and the environment.

Lighting and electronics
Consumer electronics are becoming a large part of everyday life, accounting for 15 percent of household electricity use. Many consumer electronics use energy even when turned off, which is called phantom energy use.

Buy a smart power strip. Smart power strips can shut down auxiliary items when the main device is shut off, but leave some devices left on, such as clocks. Search for one online by “smart” or “controlled” plug strips.

Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters, such as a cell phone charger, when not in use. Each individual charger doesn’t use much energy, however, every little bit adds up, especially with roommates.

Remember to turn your computer off at night and use the built-in energy savings standby and hibernate functions. Computers left on 24/7 can add about $12 a month to your energy bill. If you have more than one computer in your residence, the potential energy savings can really add up.

Install high efficiency compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) in place of incandescent bulbs. CFLs last up to seven times longer than an incandescent bulb (7,000 hours versus 1,000 hours). It will take about six months at three hours burn-time per day to pay for the CFLs, which are available for every lighting need.

Reducing your energy use in the kitchen
-Use the microwave, a pressure cooker, electric pan or a toaster oven for smaller meals.

-Take advantage of residual heat by turning the oven or burners off a few minutes before you’re done cooking.

-One dishwasher load usually uses less hot water than three washings by hand.

-Vacuum the condenser coils on your refrigerator every three months to remove dust so it can operate more efficiently. Coils are located on the bottom or rear of the unit.

Tips for vacation
Water Heater: Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. If you are away for a week or longer, turn off an electric water heater or put a natural gas water heater in vacation mode, if your water heater has one.

Refrigerator: Fill your refrigerator or freezer with plastic milk containers filled with water, if you’ll be away for less than a month. A full refrigerator or freezer uses the smallest amount of energy. Also, turn off your ice-maker.

Lights: Turn off all lights in your home before leaving except for security lighting. Consider installing a timer to limit the time the security lights are on and to make it appear you are home.

Electronics: Unplug all electronic appliances such as computers, stereos, TV’s, DVR’s, cable and satellite boxes, cell phone chargers and DVD players. Electronics with digital displays, instant-on features and remote controls use electricity even when they are turned off.

Windows: In summer, close drapes and blinds to block out the sun and keep your home from heating up and provide security while you are away.

If you have roommates, try to reach an agreement about a comfortable temperature for all. Running the heat or air conditioning (A/C) with windows open will quickly add to your energy bill.
Posted by  System Account  on  3/25/2010
0  Comments  | 0  Links to this post | Bookmark this post with:          


Add a Comment

We encourage comments on this blog, but this is a family friendly conversation, so please check out our discussion guidelines so we’re all on the same page. By submitting a comment, you agree to these terms and our Privacy Policy.  

Customers must have a My Account and be logged in to comment.
Login to My Account | Create My Account


We're hopeful that this space will encourage thought provoking and informative community discussions about issues related to our products and services. Currently you must be an Avista customer to participate in the conversation, but stay tuned. In the coming weeks we'll also provide an opportunity for non-customers to participate in this forum.