Year-round Energy Saving Tips

There are little things that you can do in every room of your house to save energy. Add them up and they equal big energy savings and a lower monthly energy bill.

Low cost and no cost ways to save on your energy bill year round.

Kitchen / bathroom / laundry room | Living areas

Kitchen / bathroom / laundry room

  • Use the energy-saving setting on the refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer.
  • Set your refrigerator's temperature between 37 and 40 degrees.
  • Keep the refrigerator stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty fridge.
  • Close the refrigerator door promptly once you've gotten what you need from it.
  • Your refrigerator may have a heater built into its' walls to prevent condensation on the inside. Turning the heater switch to "off" can save energy. The condensation that may form from turning the wall heater off is generally not bothersome or problematic.
  • Recycle any older second fridges you may have. Older refrigerators are much less energy-efficient than new ones: a 25-year-old refrigerator uses three times a much electricity as a new one ¿ 1500 kilowatt hours per year, compared to about 500 kilowatt hours for a new one. PNM residential electric customers can get a $50 rebate when they recycle an old fridge or freezer. Learn more about the PNM Refrigerator Recycling Rebate.
  • Keep your freezer full; full freezers operate more efficiently. If your freezer isn't full, you can fill 2-liter bottles about three-quarters full and put them in the freezer to take up space.
  • Wash full loads of dishes, and then open the door and let the dishes air dry instead of running the drying cycle, or use the "air dry" or other non-energy-using function on the settings.
  • When washing dishes by hand, turn off the hot water when you don't need it, stopper the sink instead.
  • Use bathroom and kitchen fans sparingly. A bath or kitchen fan can pull an entire houseful of hot air out of a home.
  • Use a microwave or toaster oven for cooking small items, instead of turning on the large oven.
  • Use timers to determine when to take something out of the oven, instead of opening the oven door for repeated checks. Every time you open the oven door while something is cooking, the temperature drops up to 100 degrees and oven has to use additional energy to bring the temperature back up.
  • Lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees when cooking with ceramic, glass or stainless steel dishes.
  • Encourage your family to take showers rather than baths, showers use about half as much hot water.
  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets (5 percent of water "use" is leakage).
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, which reduce hot water use by up to 50 percent.
  • Turn the faucet off while shaving or brushing teeth, instead of letting it run.
  • When washing clothes, use warm or cold water for the wash cycle and rinse with cold. About 80 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is heating the water.
  • Dry laundry outside on a clothes line, or if using the dryer, dry laundry one load after another to take advantage of the leftover heat in the dryer. Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as it stops and put in a new load of wet clothes. (This also saves ironing time as wrinkles don't have time to set.)
  • Don't overload the dryer. An overloaded dryer works harder and uses more energy.
  • Clean the dryer's lint-filter when you add a new load of clothes; this also helps to prevent dryer fires.

Living areas / bedrooms

  • Check out a Kill A Watt ® home energy monitoring device from your local library. Simply connect various electronics to the Kill A Watt, and it will tell you how much energy they use. Find out more and see a list of participating libraries.
  • Unplug cell phone and electronic device chargers when they are not in use. Chargers use electricity even when devices aren't plugged into them. Commonly used chargers include:
    • Cell phone
    • Personal Data Assistant (PDA)
    • MP3 player
    • Cordless phone
    • Tool charger (for drills, etc.)
    • Electric toothbrush
  • Shut off lights, computers and electronic devices when you're not using them.
  • Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs in your interior lamps and fixtures with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). PNM electric customers can buy discounted CFLs from local retailers. Find out more about the PNM Home Lighting Discount.
    • CFLs use 75 percent less electricity and produce less heat than incandescent light bulbs, so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
    • By using CFLs, you can save $30 or more in electricity costs over a bulb's lifetime.
    • Shave as much as $41 per year off your electric bill by replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs.
  • Keep light bulbs and fixtures clean. Because dirt absorbs light, a clean bulb or fixture produces more light than a dirty one. Clean windows will also allow more light into a house.
  • Have a heated waterbed? Make your bed. The covers will insulate the mattress and save up to one-third of the energy it uses.
  • Use nightlights with sensors in areas where you need just enough lighting to see where you are going. The sensor will shut the nightlight off when it's bright enough to see normally.
  • Install outdoor lighting with motion sensors instead of leaving porch or yard lights on all night.

More ways to save on your utility bill year round

  • Replace your halogen torchiere floor lamp with a CFL model. Halogen lights use 300 percent more energy than a comparable CFL fixture, plus they get hot and pose a safety hazard.
  • Consider purchasing a flat-screen computer monitor, they use about one-third the energy as a conventional monitor.
  • When you need to replace a large home appliance, spend more up front to get the most energy-efficient model you can afford. An Energy Star®-qualified appliance will initially cost more, but lower operating costs over the appliance's life will save you money.
  • Next time you're shopping for a refrigerator, keep in mind that side-by-side refrigerators use 5 to 7 percent more energy than models with a freezer on top. Add a water and ice dispenser in the door and side-by-side models use almost 15 percent more energy than a standard freezer-top refrigerator.
  • Choose a top-loading chest freezer instead of a front-loading upright freezer. Chest freezers are 10 to 20 percent more energy efficient than upright freezers because cold air, which sinks, stays inside the freezer, rather than spilling out the front.
  • Install a solar water heater or solar photovoltaic system to heat and power your home. Find out more about the PNM Solar PV program.
  • Have a comprehensive home energy audit done that includes a blower-door test to identify sources of air infiltration.