News Releases

Turn Up the Thermostat and Work with Mother Nature to Reduce Energy Bills

Jun 17, 2009

Media Contacts:
Karl Walquist, (775) 834-3891
Faye Andersen, (775) 834-4822

An energy efficiency expert with northern Nevada's electric utility says the best way to take control of your power bill during the hot summer months is to turn up the thermostat on your air conditioner.

Set the thermostat at 78 to 80 degrees when at home and to 5 to 10 degrees warmer at night or when you're not home, said Chad Piekarz, an energy consultant at NV Energy, adding that homeowners should change their air conditioner filters monthly. It's also a good idea to have the equipment serviced by a heating and cooling contractor every couple of years.

Piekarz said homeowners should work with Mother Nature to reduce their cooling bills.  In the mornings and evenings, open windows to let the cool northern Nevada air into your home, and keep window coverings closed during the day to keep the heat out. Planning on doing some landscaping this summer? Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of your home. When those trees mature they'll reduce the amount of heat that enters your home.

"Living in an extreme climate zone creates a difficult task when controlling consumption,"said Piekarz. "We need to use every method available to us to combat high energy usage."

Homeowners may also consider evaporative or"swamp"coolers which use less energy than large air conditioning units and allow you to"spot cool"rooms.  Evaporative coolers can increase humidity, an extra benefit in Nevada's dry climate. In addition, you might consider installing ceiling fans to cool down rooms in your home so you won't have to rely as much on your air conditioner, Piekarz said.

Here are some other energy savings tips from the energy efficiency expert:
* Upgrade the insulation in your attic. Statistics show that a home with an R-38 insulation value in the attic will use less energy and pay for itself in power bill savings in as little as two years. Install a programmable thermostat to control the temperature in your house automatically for a savings of up to $100 a year in energy costs.
* And use energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) instead of incandescent lights. For every bulb replaced you can save up to $1 per month (for bulbs running 4-6 hours per day).

For more tips or additional information on any of NV Energy's conservation programs log onto or call (775) 834-4444.