Change for the Better with Energy Star

Always look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing appliances.

Energy-Saving Tips For Homeowners

Energy audits

To identify more specific ways to control your energy use:


Focus on Energy

MGE partners with Focus on Energy to bring energy-saving resources and incentives to our customers.

Ways to reduce heating costs


The furnace or boiler is the largest energy user in most homes.

  • If health permits, keep thermostat at 68°F or below.
  • Lower thermostat at night and when you're gone (55°F lowest setting).
  • Check the furnace filter once a month during the heating season. Change or clean when dirty
  • Have a professional tune-up of your heating system every other year.
  • Replace a lower efficiency furnace with one of at least 90% efficiency.

For more information

Furnaces and Air Conditioners
Furnaces [883 kB PDF]
Focus on Energy (Cash-Back Rewards)

Where energy is lost from the house

Insulation and air sealing

  • If your attic has less than 7 inches of insulation, consider adding more.
  • If your walls have no insulation between the studs, insulating the cavities can make a big difference.

For more information

Visit Focus on Energy or call 1-800-762-7077
How to Insulate Your Attic [3.6 MB PDF]
Exterior Wall Insulation [160 kB PDF]
Finishing Basements [130 kB PDF]
Caulk and Weather Strip [3.7 MB PDF]
Ice Dams


  • Despite claims of savings up to 45%, replacing all the windows in your home will rarely reduce your heating bills more than 10% to 15%.
  • Because window replacement is expensive, the payback in energy savings may take 20 to 30 years or more.
  • Replacing your windows will often make you feel more comfortable.

For more information

Windows [610 kB PDF]

Ways to control appliance use

MGE customers have more appliances and are using more electricity than just 10 years ago.

  • Replace electric clothes dryers with gas.
  • Refrigerators older than 1990 can use three times as much electricity as new ones.
  • MGE has given portable energy meters to area libraries. Check one out to see how much electricity appliances use.
  • Anything with a remote control, plug-in power supply or clock display uses electricity even when it is switched off.
  • Always look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing new appliances.

For more information

Appliances and Equipment
Portable Energy Meters
Appliance Energy Costs [558 kB PDF]
Refrigerators [123 kB PDF]
Standby Power
Energy-Saving Tips for All Seasons [23.6 MB PDF]

Dehumidifier use can be expensive

While important to control high humidity in basements, dehumidifiers can cost as much as $50 per month to operate. Look for ways to control moisture and reduce dehumidifier run time.

  • Vent clothes dryers to the outside.
  • Check gutter and downspout drainage.
  • Slope soil away from foundation.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing a new dehumidifier.

For more information

Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers [732 kB PDF]


  • Replace incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified bulbs.
  • Turn off lights when not in use.
  • Maintain security outdoors and reduce energy use with motion sensor lighting.

For more information

Lighting brochure [4.3 MB PDF]

Water heating

Your water heater is the second largest single energy user in most homes.

  • Replace electric water heaters with gas.
  • Replace 1994 and older showerheads with low-flow showerheads.
  • Set water heater temperature at 120°F.
  • Insulate hot water pipes.
  • When replacing your water heater, look for high-efficiency models.

For more information

Water Heaters
Water Heaters [792 kB PDF]

To save in summer, control your air-conditioning

Central and room air-conditioning can be your biggest electricity users in the summer.

  • Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher.
  • Turn off your air conditioner when no one is home.
  • Close your drapes and shades to keep the sun out.

For more information