All Projects and Incentives

Change Your Appliance Settings

About this Project

Adjust your Fridge Settings, Lower your Water Heater Temperatures

Raising your refrigerator’s temperature setting from 35 to 38 degrees and lowering your hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees can save energy and money. It’s just a few degrees that you won’t even notice. It also won’t affect the operation of your appliances, and it’s free and easy to do!

Photo Credit: Alexey Stiop, Shutterstock


If it is a Small Appliance, Unplug it When You're Done

All things plugged in will use some energy. Called "standby" electricity loss because it's so often associated with electronics in standby or idle mode, it's also known as "phantom" or "vampire" electricity (because they suck energy out of your home). Even turned off, many appliances keep drawing power. This is true for your toasters, coffee makers, and other small appliances.

Same goes for all those chargers — whether or not a device is charging! That means the charger continues to use power even if your cell phone/portable vacuum/toothbrush/wireless drill isn't attached, let alone charging. Power supplies don't just convert energy; they consume it. Anything with a transformer — those black boxes on power cords — draws power as long as it's plugged in. And because of poor design, these boxes waste up to three-fourths of the electricity that passes through them.


Watch the video from the Department of Energy on how to lower your water heating temperature.

For the best refrigerator temperature to save energy and keep your food cold, visit this helpful ENERGY STAR guide.


Lower energy bills and reduced risk of scalding are the biggest incentives to make these changes. If your refrigerator or hot water heater are outdated and due for replacement, you may qualify for a rebate.


To find out if there are rebates for ENERGY STAR refrigerators or water heating systems, visit your utility’s website, and the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder.


Montgomery County offers a $250 tax credit for buying energy efficiency appliances.

Presidents Day Weekend each year, Maryland declares it the Shop Maryland Energy Tax Free Weekend. For 3 days, buying some ENERGY STAR appliances are tax free.  Learn more. 

Photo Credit: convisum, 123RF

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