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Skylights

in Articles, Idaho Power Tips

Do you have spaces where you constantly turn on lights during the day? Consider a skylight or solar light tube. They add natural light – brightening dark spaces and reducing the need for artificial lighting. But skylights can also enhance solar heat gain and both products can let in drafts. To ensure the best performance make sure to purchase right and install smart. Then let the sun shine in. Look for Energy Star qualified skylights rated for the Northern Climate zone. Energy Star skylights and solar light tubes are rated by climate zone and are evaluated using whole-unit performance criteria. With whole-unit performance, not only the glass meets energy efficient standards, but all the materials from frame to design feature energy efficient components. Energy Star skylights include: Double-pane glass with protective coatings to reduce heat gain and protect interior spaces from...

Choosing a Contractor

in Articles, Idaho Power Tips

Making Upgrades To Your Home? Choosing A Contractor Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Summer is here and it’s a great time to make energy efficient improvements to your home. Some of the energy efficiency programs Idaho Power offers require using a professional contractor for installation to receive a cash incentive. While Idaho Power does not install equipment, give estimates or endorse specific contractors, here are a few recommendations to help you find a quality contractor. Whether you choose to search online or consult with trusted family and friends, do your homework before hiring a contractor. Visit websites, like AngiesList.com, that allow you to search for contractors in your area and view customer generated ratings and feedback. Also, consider checking the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating—they are accessible both online and by phone. The BBB also offers many online...

Safety

in Articles, Idaho Power Tips

For many of us, Fourth of July celebrations mean flags, outdoor barbeques and fireworks. As you celebrate Independence Day, Idaho Power reminds you to be safe and keep fireworks away from power lines. Our safety philosophy that “All Injuries Can Be Prevented” is supported in an environment where all employees are empowered and expected to be safety leaders. Our commitment to a culture of safety also extends to you, our customers. Use the following important safety information to keep you and your family safe around electricity and power lines. Keep flammable materials clear of electric heaters. Replace electric cords that are frayed or damaged. Keep electric appliances away from water-filled sinks or tubs. Don’t overload an outlet with too many cords. Stay away from power poles or transmission towers. Fly kites in open areas away from overhead power lines. Always look up and look...

Efficiency, Energy and Laundry (Part II)

in Articles, Idaho Power Tips

(Part II of a series begun April 24) Since the average American family does about 400 loads of laundry a year, today’s conversation is about getting good laundry results while reducing energy use and money spent. Clothes Washing Review If you need a new washer, it’s a great time to take advantage of incentives for ENERGY STAR® qualified models. Idaho Power’s Home Products Program ($50) State of Idaho’s Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program ($75) Wash in cold or warm water when possible and ALWAYS choose the cold water rinse. Wash full loads and use the right kind and amount of detergent. Too much leaves soap deposits and lint inside the washing machine, contributing to mold and odors and can also plug ports and filters, contributing to machine failure. TIP: Mark cap on the outside and inside with a permanent marker. Most “medium” loads use about half of what the “natural” cap line...

Summer Peak Demand:

in Articles, Idaho Power Tips

Energy usage throughout Idaho Power’s service region “peaks” or is the highest during the hot summer months.  Why?  Because a large number of customers use their air conditioners to get relief from heat and farmers use electricity to run their irrigation pumps. When it’s hot in Idaho, it’s often hot all across the west.  All the western electric utilities, including Idaho Power, need extra energy supplies during these times.  The extra energy that Idaho Power customers require in the summer comes from generation sources such as peak power plants and the purchase of electricity from other utilities on the wholesale market. These additional sources of power generation lead to higher electricity costs during the summer. There are actions you can take to lessen the effects of higher summer rates on your monthly bills.  The first step to managing your electricity usage is to be conscious of...

Energy Efficient Window Treatments

in Articles, Idaho Power Tips

Window treatments or coverings are often thought of as decorative.  But some carefully selected window treatments can reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter by up to 50 percent.  Here are some things to think about: Draperies Draw them to keep sun out in the summer and warmth in during the winter. To increase thermal efficiency, hang them as close to the window as possible.  Also let them fall onto a windowsill or floor and use magnetic tape to attach them to the wall at the sides and bottom.  For maximum effectiveness, install a cornice at the top of the drapery or place the drapery against the ceiling. Two draperies hung together and separated by an air space will add even more benefit and increase a room’s comfort – with the room-side drapery maintaining around the same temperature as the interior space. Blinds More effective at reducing summer heat gain than...