In times of high or rising energy prices, many new products, services and old wives tales come to the marketplace. Knowing which wives tales and product claims are false is important. Below are some you should be aware of:
Myth: Water heater timers or turning off your water heater during the day will save you money.
Fact: This is typically of little or no value since water heaters cycle on a thermostat and typically run about 3 hours out of a 24-hour day. In order to realize a savings, a water heater would need to be set to come on fewer than 3 hours per day. And if you ran out of hot water and overrode the timer, you would override the savings, too. However, cutting off your water heater when you are leaving for the weekend or vacation does make savings sense.
Myth: Set and forget the A/C thermostat.
Fact: This is old-school thinking from the 1960s when energy was cheap and our heating and cooling systems were not very sophisticated. Those days are long gone. Instead, moving your thermostat three to five degrees higher when leaving home for more than a couple of hours has been shown to save roughly 5 percent per degree over the energy used to return the thermostat to your desired setting.
Myth: Surge suppression devices will save you money.
Fact: Since surges only occur for a few milliseconds, any energy that may be saved will be insignificant. These are protection devices, not energy savers.
Myth: Power factor correction for home use will save you money.
Fact: Not in Jacksonville, because our residential customers are not billed for power factor. Only about 200 of JEA’s largest commercial/industrial customers are metered and billed for having a poor power factor.