Energy Saving Tips

GVEA’s Bill Calculator

You can calculate your monthly bill by utilizing GVEA’s Bill Calculator. Select the service type associated with your account and enter your kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage. If you are not sure which service type applies to your service location, contact GVEA Member Services for assistance.

Vehicle Plug-ins

A well-maintained vehicle only needs 2 to 4 hours of heating time to start (4 to 5 hours for diesel vehicles). Depending on your vehicle, the use of a timer (either programmable or hard-wired) can help reduce your monthly electric bill.

There are many benefits to plugging in your vehicle when temperatures reach 20º F or colder.

Not only do you save on your electric bill, but you also help improve the air quality in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and help prevent unnecessary vehicle maintenance.

What does it cost to plug in a vehicle? Use GVEA’s Vehicle Plug-In Calculator.

Here is a short video explaining how to set up a programmable timer.

How to Use a Timer in Your Car Video

Ways to Save

You have the power to use less.

Making changes, big or small, can help you control your electric usage. Watch a video on the seven items that can contribute to a high electric bill.

Energy Saving Checklist

In Every Room


  • Change incandescent light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs
  • Use only CFLs or LEDs designated dimmable bulbs in dimmable fixtures
  • Use occupancy sensors and timers
  • Replace several small bulbs with one large bulb
  • Decorate wall surfaces with light, reflective colors
  • Keep fixtures and covers clean

Vampire Appliances

  • Unplug when not in use and especially when you’re on vacation


  • Put all electronics on a Smart Strip; turn off when not in use
  • Turn off your computers overnight
  • Put entertainment equipment (TV, DVD player, speakers, game stations, etc. ) on Smart Strips.

Electric Heaters

  • Limit use. One 1,200-watt electric heater costs 28¢ per hour to run.


  • Scrape off food instead of rinsing
  • Wash full loads
  • Wash with energy-saver cycle
  • Dry with “no heat” cycle

Electric Range

  • Fit pans to burner size
  • Use lids on pans to retain heat
  • Use small appliances, like a crock pot or microwave
  • Pre-heat oven only 5 minutes


  • Keep ¾ to ⅞ full for efficiency
  • Set refrigerator temperature at +34° to +38° F / Freezer 0° to +5° F
  • Clean coils every 3 months
  • Locate away from heat sources
  • Replace with Energy Star model
  • Get rid of the 2nd fridge in the garage used to chill a single six pack


  • Defrost whenever ¼ inch of ice builds up
  • Set thermostat 0° to +5° F
  • Keep freezer at least ¾ full

Heated Water Bed

  • Place a 1½ to 2 inch foam pad on top
  • Cover with a heavy quilt
  • Insulate sides and bottom
  • Install low-flow fixtures
  • Repair leaky faucets promptly
  • Install low-flow aerators
  • Showers use 50% less water than baths
  • Install timers on bathroom fans
Utility Room

Electric Water Heater/Storage Tank

  • Set water heater to 120° to 130°F
  • Wrap water heater and pipes
  • Flush sediment regularly
  • Install a timer
  • Use tempering tank
  • Turn off at the breaker if you’ll be away for more than 4 days

Electric Dryer

  • Dry full loads
  • Do multiple loads at a time
  • Clean lint screen frequently
  • Choose moisture-sensor model
  • Air dry when possible

Washing Machine

  • Wash with cold water
  • Pre-soak heavily soiled loads
Major Appliances
  • Maintain your appliances, especially your furnace or boiler, since they'll operate more efficiently
  • Replace aging appliances with Energy Star models

Yard Light

  • Use high-pressure sodium bulbs
  • Install photocell motion detectors

Primary Headbolt

  • Well-maintained vehicles need only 2 to 3 hours of preheating
  • Install a timer or switched outlet
  • Match heater to vehicle size

Heat Tape

  • Reduce wattage if cold water initially comes out warm
  • Be sure to unplug/turn off heat tape when the weather warms
Beyond Electricity
  • Insulate and weatherize your home
  • Install a setback thermostat and program it
  • Block drafts with foam gaskets on exterior wall outlets and switches
  • Consider purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle

Additional Energy Saving Information