Solar PowerWind PowerLandfill GasResidential Sign-UpCommercial Sign_upReturn to Green Power Switch Main

Green Power Switch News

Vol. 4, No. 1 — Winter 2004


Energy tips from a reader

I don’t profess to be an expert in the area of energy conservation. I am just the average Tennessee resident doing my share to save the planet and save money at the same time. Here are some of the ways we do this at home.

We lower our electricity use in winter by using the sun to heat and light the house. We open curtains and blinds during the day and close them at night. We also use a piece of radiant barrier material in each windenergytips.htmow to keep the heat from escaping. Weather stripping and caulking are a must.

One of our favorite tricks is to vent our dryer to the inside during the coldest months. The vent hose is connected to a plastic box filled with water, bought at a home supply store for under $20. Not only do we capture the heat, it also helps with dry skin.

We set our thermostat at 62 degrees at night and 68 degrees during the daytime. We wear extra clothes to keep warm and close off any rooms we don’t want to heat.

One of the odder things I do in winter is to place mirrors outside to reflect more heat and light into the house. I also use them in some interior windows to reflect light to the darker areas of the house.

We turn off the hot water heater for most of the day. We turn it on early in the morning; and after morning showers and any hot-water washing, we turn it off. Our tank is insulated, and the water is still fairly hot the next morning.

We use compact fluorescent bulbs and hang clothes on the line to dry. I also use the microwave or toaster oven instead of the stove when possible.

We use cold water for washing clothes and air-dry dishes in the dishwasher. We only run the dishwasher and the clothes washer and dryer with full loads.

These are just a few of the many ways we conserve energy. Have any of our changes meant sacrifices? Not really. We have a warm house, plenty of food, hot water, etc., which is more than many people have. We save an average of 40 percent on our electric bills. But also, it makes me feel good inside knowing that I am doing my share to help the planet.

Catherine Carter-Stiles
Knoxville, TN


top of page



In this issue

New Trio Teaches Nashville Elementary Students About Green Power

What is energy right®?

Also: Notes from our readers

Energy tips from a reader

Generation & Participation Updates

Green Power Switch News Archive

Check out our updated Web site!

The Green Power Switch Web site has had a makeover. Besides the new look of our main page, we’ve added renewable energy illustrations, an updated list of businesses that support GPS, and links to other renewable energy sites. It’s all at www.greenpower

Mark your calendar

GPS Generation Partners plans to host orientations on the Technical Installation of Grid Connected Solar and Wind Systems in the coming months. For more information, or if you wish to attend a session, please contact Carmen Copeland at