PUBLISHED: 5:20 PM on Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Brain Power
No cost, low cost ways to conserve
No cost ways to save

• Turn off every electric device that is not in use: lights, TVs, computers, etc. If the electric device uses standby power or a "sleep" mode, such as TVs and computers, you may use a high-quality surge protector to switch off all power, or simply unplug them. Any electric device that uses a remote control or has a display for the time is in standby mode as long as it is plugged in, so paying special attention to those devices could save a lot.

• Unplug charges for electronic devices (such as cell phones and iPods) when not in use. Even things like toasters, coffee grinders, and hairdryers should not remain plugged in.

• As much as possible, take advantage of the natural light outside. Especially when we have sun, letting the sunlight in can heat your home for free.

• Switch to cold-water laundry washing and only do full loads. Use your clothes dryer as little as possible and empty the lint filter after every load. Many of your clothes can be hung dry.

• Lower the temperature on your water heater. It should be set at "warm" so that the thermometer held under running water reads no more than 120 degrees.

• Only heat the rooms you need and close the doors of unused rooms.

• Set the house thermostat to the lowest possible comfortable setting and dress more warmly or throw an extra blanket on your bed.

Low cost ways to save

illustrations by Charles L. Westmoreland
• Replace all interior incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. The price of CFL has dropped significantly and the quality and intensity can match incandescent bulbs. They will last longer and cost much less to operate. Do NOT use a light dimmer on fluorescent or compact fluorescent lamps.

• To reduce electric water heating use, install low-flow showerheads and sink aerators.

• Wrap the electric water heater to hold the heat inside.

• Seal, foam and weather-strip around windows and doors. Air leaks account for significant heat loss in houses.

• Use mastic to seal all exposed ductwork joints in areas such as the attic, crawlspace, or basement. Insulated ducts improve the heating system's efficiency.

• Adding single pane storm windows can reduce heat loss through windows. An alternative is to temporarily install plastic sheeting.

• Cooking what you can in a microwave oven saves a considerable amount of energy compared to turning on a stove. Cooking with a microwave oven typically uses less than half the energy of an electric stove/oven.

Energy tips provided by the Juneaudelegation.

Resources to Remember

"Brain Power" is a new weekly segment focussed on energy conservation and assisting Juneau residents in re-taking control during the energy crisis. Submit your conservation tips and ideas to


(907) 780-2222

After hours: (907) 586-9765

5601 Tonsgard Ct., Juneau, AK 99801

Hours: 7:30-5:30 Mon-Fri.

Alaska Energy Authority

(907) 771-3000

Fax: (907) 771-3044

Toll Free: (888) 300-8534

AK Dept. of Natural Resources

(907) 269-8400

Financial Assistance

Residential: United Way of Southeast Alaska

(907) 463-5530

Fax: (907) 463-4649

Comm: Juneau Economic Development Council

(907) 523-2300

Fax: (907) 463-3929

--Eligibility for financial assistance varies and is determined by the above mentioned organizations

Energy Calculators

--If your electronics measure power in amps multiply the amps by 120 (volts) to get the watts. 1000 watts equals 1 kilowatt.A

Energy Crisis Coverage