Pete Seyfer and Megan Turner, hosts of Alliant Energy's PowerHouse

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Alliant Energy's PowerHouse is an award-winning educational program designed to help you improve the energy efficiency, safety and comfort of your home.
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PowerHouse Tip of the Month

Every month we offer energy-efficient home improvement tips. These seasonal suggestions can help lower your bill all year long.

a man installing a new showerhead

April tip of the month: Upgrade to energy-saving showerheads

Switch to efficient showerheads and watch the savings pour in.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says showers account for about 17% of residential water use, almost 40 gallons per day for an average family. Nationally per year, we collectively shower away about 1.2 trillion gallons of precious fresh water. There’s also the energy we use to heat all that water.

Of course, there’s nothing like a nice hot shower. The good news is you can have the showers you love without sacrificing pressure – and still save water, energy and money.

Install a WaterSense-certified showerhead

The EPA certifies showerheads that use 2 gallons or fewer per minute, half a gallon less than the standard set by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. That may sound like a drop in the bucket, but it adds up to an ocean of savings.

Per year, the EPA estimates the average family can save up to 2,700 gallons of water and $75 in energy and water costs. 

WaterSense-certified showerheads are easy to install and comparable in price to other showerheads.

Plus, today’s energy-efficient showerheads are designed with performance in mind. WaterSense-certified models are independently tested on factors like spray force, coverage and pressure compensation, meaning they perform just as well as other showerheads over a range of different home shower types and water pressures.

For many who install an energy-efficient showerhead, the only differences they notice are on their reduced water and energy bills.

Soak up even more savings

Add to your shower power with these water-saving tips for your home.

March tip of the month: Lower your water heater temperature to 120 F

Here’s an easy way to save a lot of energy. Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees. It takes just a few simple steps.

Manufacturers usually set water heaters to 140 degrees, higher than necessary for most households. In fact, it can scald you. If a member of your household is immunocompromised or has a chronic respiratory infection, you may want to maintain the higher factory preset to avoid the very slight risk of legionellae bacteria. In general, though, experts consider 120 F safe.

When you lower the temperature, your water heater won’t have to work as hard. The amount you can save varies by household hot water use. The Department of Energy estimates you can save up to $30 annually for each 10 degree reduction. 

You’ll also reduce heat loss from the tank to the surrounding air, which means further savings. Plus, the lower temperature helps your appliance last longer; it slows corrosion and mineral buildup in tanks and pipes.

Related content: If you’re considering a new water heater, knowing how to shop for one can save you time and money. Get tips to help you choose the right energy-efficient water heater for you.

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Pete and Megan, hosts of PowerHouse

Meet our hosts and find out when PowerHouse airs in your area.

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Upcoming show

April 27, 2024

Segment 1
Keep an older home in shape

Segment 2
Electrical/lead paint

Segment 3
Preserve/replace windows

Segment 3
re-siding older homes