Here are some energy reduction tips which came our way from The Nebraska Public Power District via Electric Energy Online.

1. Set thermostat between 78 and 82 degrees if you plan to leave for an extended period of time. By using this temperature range, the air conditioning will not have to work so long when you do return home.” For every degree below 78, cooling costs can increase by three to four percent.

2. Fans can help offset thermostat settings and a ceiling fan will make an individual feel four degrees cooler. Remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room, since fans cool people by creating a wind-chill effect on their skin.

3. Closing curtains during the day on windows receiving direct sunlight can help.

4. Turn off all unnecessary lights. Any kind of light gives off heat, which makes air conditioning run longer.

5. Unplugging any devices when not in use, such as televisions, computers and cell phone chargers, can help eliminate “phantom loads” which account for about five to 10 percent of overall home energy use.

6. Use a microwave or grill, when possible, to limit the amount of heat generated within the home.

7. Set the water heater temperature to 120 degrees, thus reducing energy usage.

8. Low-flow shower heads and aerators for faucets are easy water savers that lower energy usage.