Environmental Protection

Consumers Can Cut Costs in Water Heating

Meeting consumer water needs requires a considerable amount of energy. Water heating alone can account for up to 25 percent of the energy consumed in a home. Whether water is being dispensed, heated or used to clean dishes and clothes, electricity is being used -- contributing to monthly electricity bills. 

"Part of our mission is to help customers understand how they use energy so that they can better manage their energy budgets and environmental footprints," said Val R. Jensen, vice president, Marketing and Environmental Programs, ComEd. "Often the small things -- like using water more efficiently -- can translate into real cost savings that also pay off in reduced environmental impact."

Here are a few energy efficiency tips for home water usage:

  • Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120°F. Every 10-degree reduction of hot water temperature can save, on average, 3 to 5 percent in energy costs. If you have an electric water heater, install a thermal blanket or insulation on the water heater tank, which can reduce standby losses 25 to 45 percent and save you 4 to 9 percent on your water heating costs. Also consider insulating all accessible hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.

  • Take showers instead of baths, which typically require more water than showers. Taking a shower with a low-flow or ultra-low flow nozzle can reduce water consumption band electric water heating costs.

  • Always run the dishwasher with a full load. Scrape dishes instead of rinsing before loading them into the dishwasher. If you must rinse, use cold water instead of hot. Use the air dry option on the dishwasher or, after the final rinse, prop open the door an inch or two to release the moisture and air-dry dishes faster. If your dishwasher has a light or energy-saving wash cycle, use it for light loads or dishes that are only slightly soiled.

  • Front-loaded washers use less energy than traditional top-loaded machines because they cut water usage by nearly 40 percent. Use cold water in the rinse cycle as much as possible and wash full loads rather than partial ones.

Using water more efficiently to save energy is one of ComEd's 12 Ways to Green campaign, which aims to educate customers about ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Launched last year, 12 Ways to Green is a component of Exelon 2020, a comprehensive environmental strategy to reduce, offset, or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020 among ComEd's parent, Exelon, its subsidiaries, and customers.

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