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MidAmerican Energy News

This holiday season, give the gift of energy savings

DES MOINES, Iowa – (Dec. 15, 2015) – Searching for the perfect gift that will keep giving long after the holiday season ends? MidAmerican Energy Company can help. Here are seven gift ideas – ranging from big-ticket items to stocking stuffers – that will help family and friends save energy and money all year long.

1. ENERGY STAR® electronics: Televisions and other consumer electronic products carrying the ENERGY STAR label are up to 50 percent more efficient than conventional models. Check the yellow Energy Guide label on the product for an estimate of average energy consumption and annual cost to operate. According to the Department of Energy, about 10 to 15 percent of all electricity used in American homes can be attributed to electronic devices. If every TV, DVD, and home theatre system purchased in the U.S. this year were ENERGY STAR certified, we would save nearly $150 million and prevent nearly 2 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year, equal to the emissions from more than 175,000 cars.

2. Advanced power strip (APS): A must for home entertainment systems and home offices, these smart power strips allow you to control the energy use of several devices with just one click. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 75 percent of the electricity used to power electronics is consumed while they’re turned off, costing the average U.S. household $100 a year in wasted energy. You can eliminate this phantom load with an APS that powers down all components when the TV or computer is switched off.

3. Power meter: The gadget guru or penny pincher on your list will love this. Plug the meter into an outlet and then plug any item into the meter to see how much electricity the item is using. You might be surprised to learn which items in your home are drawing the most energy.

4. Pressure cooker: New generation pressure cookers not only prepare meals faster, they use up to 70 percent less energy than cooking with traditional pots and pans.

5. Programmable thermostat: Save on your annual heating and cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat to schedule the times you run the furnace or air conditioner. When you’re asleep or away, the programmable thermostat can automatically adjust your system to operate 7-10 degrees up or down from its normal setting. Doing this over an eight-hour period each day can save you as much as 10 percent on your utility bills over the course of a year.

6. A micro fleece blanket or throw: For low-tech energy savings, nothing beats a blanket or throw made of micro fleece. The fabric is lightweight but incredibly warm, so you can turn down the thermostat a few degrees and remain comfortable while you read or watch TV.

7. LED and CFL light bulbs: These make great stocking stuffers. LED bulbs cost a little more, but they last longer than compact fluorescents, and prices continue to come down on both types of bulbs. Both are excellent choices to replace incandescent bulbs in lamps and fixtures – a CFL uses 75 percent less electricity and lasts up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb, and an LED uses 80-85 percent less electricity and lasts up to 40 times longer.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company provides electric service to 746,000 customers and natural gas service to 726,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.