Energy & Water Saving Tips

Reducing your energy and water use is the easiest way to save money on your utility bill.  Our energy and water saving tips will show you how to cut your energy and water use while staying comfortable.

In the Kitchen

  • If you have a second refrigerator or freezer, consider getting rid of it.  Each one can add more than $100 a year to your energy bill.
  • When cooking, use pots & pans that are properly sized to the burners and for the amount of food you are cooking.
  • Avoid opening the oven while food is cooking.  Each time you open that door; the oven temperature is lowered approximately 25 degrees.
  • Check the seal on your refrigerator door by closing a dollar bill in it.  If you can pull the bill out easily, it's time to replace the gaskets.
  • Check temperature settings for your appliances.  Refrigerator temperature should be 36-38 degrees and freezer temperature should be 0-5 degrees.  Refrigerator thermometers are included in our Free Energy & Water Saving Kits.
  • Arrange items in your refrigerator for quick removal and return.
  • Air-dry your dishes in the dishwasher.  Allowing dishes to air-dry can save 50% of the energy used to run the dishwasher.
  • Prepare food efficiently.  Speed cleaning food by using a vegetable brush.  Spray water in short bursts.  Faucet aerators cut consumption.
  • Defrost sensibly.  Plan ahead to defrost foods overnight in the refrigerator.  Don’t use running water.
  • Reduce dishwashing.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean to limit pre-rinsing.  Let really dirty pans or dishes soak to speed up washing.  Limit dishwasher use to full loads.
  • Use hot water efficiently.  Letting water run from the faucet until it heats up is a waste.  Instead of sending it down the drain, capture clean water for other uses.
  • Use ice to cool water.  Cool drinking water in refrigerator or with ice, not by running tap.  Use leftover drinking water for pets or to water plants.
  • Avoid using garbage disposals.  Compost or feed leftovers to pets when possible.  Use recycled water in disposal.

Heating Your Home

  • Set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when you are home and lower the temperature a few degrees when you go to bed or when not at home.  One easy way to do this is to purchase a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers and raises your temperature on a set schedule.
  • Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows.  Also use the locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant.
  • Add foam gaskets behind all outlet covers and switch-plates.  Also, use safety plugs in all unused outlets.
  • Insulate or increase the amount of insulation in your attic, basement, and outside walls.
  • Cover through-the-wall air conditioners to prevent cold air from leaking in your home.
  • Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to allow solar heating.  Close them at night to retain heat.
  • Don’t block your radiators or heating vents with furniture or draperies.  Keep your radiators, registers, and baseboard heaters dirt and dust free. Place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room.
  • Close vents and doors in unused rooms.
  • Have your heating system serviced once a year and regularly replace furnace filters.  During the heating season, filters should be changed or cleaned once a month.


  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter after each use.  This allows the air to circulate efficiently.
  • Wash only full loads and use cold water.  Use hot water only for very dirty loads, and always use the cold water rinse cycle.
  • Only wash a full load of clothes.
  • Check your toilet tanks for leaks at least twice a year
  • Turn the water off.  Don’t let it run when you brush your teeth.
  • Take showers instead of baths, and limit shower times.  A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water, while filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
  • Install water-saving, low-flow shower heads. They don't reduce your water pressure and can save a family of 4 approximately $250 a year.
  • Don’t fill the bath tub all the way up.
  • Install faucet aerators in all sinks.


  • Turn off lights as soon as you leave a room.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFLs) ones. They use up to 70% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Keep lights & fixtures clean, which can improve efficiency as much as 20%.
  • Take advantage of reflected light by placing portable fixtures near light colored walls or other surfaces.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFLs) ones. They use up to 70% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Use task lighting instead of overhead or general lighting.
  • Keep lamps away from thermostats.  The heat produced can cause your furnace to run less than needed, and your air conditioner to run more than normal.

Water Heating

  • Purchase the correct size water heater.
  • Set the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees - about halfway between low and medium.
  • Wrap a fiberglass blanket around your electric water heater.  Water heater wrap kits can be purchased at your local hardware store for about $20.
  • Insulate hot water pipes

Cooling Your Home

  • Whole-house fans can be installed in the attic or ceiling to pull fresh air through the house.
  • Locate your air conditioner on the north, east, or best-shaded side of your home.  Keep shrubbery away from the air conditioner, since it blocks vents and reduces the unit’s ability to exhaust air.
  • Make sure your air conditioner is properly sized for your home.
  • Raise your thermostat in the summer.  Raising the thermostat from 73 to 78 degrees can mean savings of up to 15% in cooling costs.
  • Change your air conditioner filter monthly during heavy use.
  • Use light colors when painting house and trim.
  • Plant shade trees.  Outside shade can reduce air conditioning costs 30%.
  • Improve the ventilation in your attic.  Install an attic fan.
  • Open the windows. On mild days and cool, dry nights, open your windows and let the outdoors do the air conditioning for you.
  • Shut out the heat. Close shades, blinds and draperies on south- and west-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain during the day.
  • Use a ceiling fan. Set fans to rotate counter-clockwise to push air downward and create a cooling breeze. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms – so you’ll save money by turning fans off when rooms are unoccupied.
  • Limit indoor cooking on warm days, or just fire up the grill. Use smaller appliances for smaller meals, such as a toaster oven or microwave.
  • Reduce appliance waste heat. Run heat-producing appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers at night or early in the morning to avoid adding heat and moisture to your home.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, electronics and lighting save energy and money compared to standard models.

Outside the Home

  • Wash cars efficiently.  Choose a car wash that recycles water.  At home, use a shut-off nozzle and wash your car in small sections.  Direct runoff to water landscaping.
  • Water yards wisely.  Landscaping benefits most from slow, thorough, infrequent watering.  Minimize evaporation by water in early morning or evening.  Aerate lawns.
  • Mulch to retain water.  Plant hardy, water-saving plants, trees, and shrubs, particularly native species.  Mow less frequently in dry times.  Limit lawn by using gravel or bark.
  • Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation.  Avoid overflows and splashes by reducing water levels.  Water landscape with wading pool water.
  • Conserve when dining out.  At restaurants, request only the drinking water you need.  At work, fill your durable cup at the water fountain to reduce waste.


New Glarus was established as a Swiss Colony in 1845 and incorporated as a Village in 1901. The Village has retained its Swiss charm with Alpine-style architecture, ethnic festivals and Swiss delicacies. The Village is located in beautiful Green County in south central Wisconsin. We are just 28 miles south of Madison and 17 miles north of Monroe on State Highway 69.


  319 2nd Street
    PO Box 399
    New Glarus, WI 53574

(608) 527-2510

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Closed