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Energy Info

HOW TO SAVE ELECTRICITY

Want to reduce your energy use—and your electric bill? There are many things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. Here are a few ideas:

Locate & fix air leaks—The potential energy savings from reducing air leaks may range from 5% to 30% per year. Check for gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring, and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check to see if air can flow through electrical outlets, switch plates, window frames, and baseboards. Inspect your doors and window frames. If you detect air flow or can see daylight around any of these, seal these air leaks with caulking or weather stripping.

Make sure insulation is adequate—Heat loss through the ceiling and walls in your home could be very large if the insulation levels are less than the recommended minimum. Determine whether openings for items such as pipes, ductwork, and chimneys are sealed. Any gaps should be sealed with an expanding foam caulk or some other permanent sealant.

Inspect heating equipment annually—Inspect your heating equipment annually or as recommended by the manufacturer. If the unit is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it with one of the newer, energy-efficient units. This would go far to reduce your energy consumption, especially if the existing equipment is in poor condition.

Use efficient lighting—Energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Examine the wattage size of the light bulbs in your house. You may have 100 watt (or larger) bulbs where 60 or 75 watts would do.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFs). Now you can buy a CF bulb for about $2. Not only do they last many times longer than regular bulbs, but they also use only 20% of the electricity. If you replace 10 65W bulbs with 13W CFs, you’ll get the same amount of light and, if each one is on an average of only 6 hours a day, you will save 94 kWh a month! At 50 cents a kWh, that’s $47 every month!

Upgrade Appliances: If you have a refrigerator or freezer that’s more than 10 years old, it might be using twice as much electricity as it should! A new appliance could pay for itself in one or two years. Look for appliances with the government’s Energy Star® label. Note: Be sure to throw the appliance away in the landfill; salvaging it because it still works is not a good idea — these are just energy hogs that could be costing an extra $40+ a month to run!

Use Cold Water Cycle: If you have a clothes washer at home, wash everything in cold water and save on your water-heating energy. Water temperature makes no difference to how clean your clothes get—that’s up to the type of laundry soap you use.

Put Lights on a Timer: Christmas lights, and even the little white lights can drain your electricity. The medium C7 bulbs usually come 25 to a string and if left on for 12 hours a day will use 63 kWh a month. Ten strings will use 630 kWh a month—that’s more than $300 a month! A single 100-light string of little white lights will use 18 kWh – $9 a month—if left on all day. So either go easy on the lights or put them on a timer so they’re not on so long.

Want more no cost or low-cost ideas? Visit www.energystar.gov, www.ase.org, or download a booklet with energy saving tips for rural Alaska.

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SOLAR ENERGY

These links provide information about solar energy. Customers need to work with AVEC and get an approved application before purchasing solar equipment and connecting to the grid.

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KID ENERGY!

Kids, play all these cool games and become an official Energy Hog Buster.

Here are the games you’ll need to complete to earn your badge:

  • Fridge Frenzy: Shut all the doors before the hogs eats up your electricity!
  • Bulb Hunter: Hunt down and replace energy hogging light bulbs.
  • Whack A Hog: Hit that shower hog over the head before the hot water runs out!
  • Wacky Windows: Shoot your window frames up with caulking before the pig pours through!
  • Attic Attack: Knock the heat hogs off their feet with killer attic insulation!

You can find more great information at the Home Advisor web site.

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HOME SAFETY

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR POWER GOES OUT

If your power goes out, follow this checklist to protect your home:

  • Check and see if your neighbors have electricity. If they do, check your fuses or circuit breaker to rule out problems with electricity inside your home.
  • If your neighbor’s electricity is out, too, call us at 1-800-478-1818.
  • Use a flashlight when it gets dark. Avoid candles because of the fire risk.
  • Unplug computers, TVs, VCRs, and other sensitive appliances. This will avoid possible damage when electricity comes back on.
  • Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored.
  • Turn off heat-producing appliances, like electric irons and electric heaters to prevent fires in case no one is home when power is restored.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY

To prepare for an emergency, you’ll need to make a plan, prepare a safety/survival kit, and know what to do during and after an emergency such as an earthquake.

Make a Plan
Every family should have a safety plan. Make sure your children know what to do and where to go if you’re not home.
Make a Safety Kit
Put the items below in your kit to keep your family comfortable during a power outage. Replace all items in the kit once a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the kit is stored.
  • Flashlights
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries for flashlight and radio
  • A three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Canned and dried foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Blankets
  • First aid supplies

WHAT TO DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

  • If you are indoors, duck or drop down to the floor. Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. Hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, woodstoves, and heavy furniture or appliances that may fall over. Stay inside to avoid being injured by falling glass or building parts. If you are in a crowded area, take cover where you are. Stay calm and encourage others to do likewise.
  • If you are outside, get into the open, away from buildings and power lines.
  • If you are driving, stop if it is safe, but stay inside your car or truck. Stay away from bridges, overpasses and tunnels. Move your car as far out of the normal traffic pattern as possible. If possible, avoid stopping under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.
  • If you are in a mountainous area, or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rock and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.
  • If you are at the beach, move quickly to higher ground or several hundred yards inland.

WHAT TO DO AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE

  • Check for injuries. Do not move a seriously injured person unless they are in immediate danger of further injuries.
  • Check for the following hazards:
    1. Fire or fire hazards.
    2. Gas leaks: Shut off the main gas valve only if a leak is suspected or identified by the odor of natural gas.
    3. Damaged electrical wiring: Shut off power at the control box.
    4. Downed or damaged utility lines: Stay away from downed lines even if power appears to be off.
    5. Fallen objects in closets and cupboards: Displaced objects may fall when you open the door.
    6. Downed or damaged chimneys: Approach chimneys with caution. They may be weakened and could topple during an aftershock.
    7. Check your telephone: Make sure each phone is on its receiver. Telephones that are off the hook tie up the telephone network unnecessarily.
  • Clean up potentially harmful materials which may have spilled, if you can do so safely.
  • If you live along the coast, be alert for news of tsunami warnings issued by the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. If you experience a strong earthquake, there may not be time to issue a warning. Move to higher ground as soon as you are able, and stay there until the authorities issue an “all clear.”
  • Expect aftershocks. Most of these are smaller than the main earthquake. Some may be large enough to do additional damage to weakened structures.
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