Energy—it’s part of almost every step of our day, from waking up in a warm house to cooking dinner and everything in between. We all have general knowledge of what energy is, how to efficiently use it, and where to get it. But believe it or not, there are some common misconceptions about energy use and shopping for energy. Let’s bust them by breaking down energy myths vs. facts.

Myth: Handwashing dishes is more efficient than using the dishwasher.

Fact: Although a typical dishwashing cycle lasts upwards of two hours, the amount of water used is substantially less than handwashing. In fact, handwashing a load of dishes uses up to 27 gallons of water, whereas the Department of Energy mandates that full-size dishwashers use no more than five gallons of water per cycle. And if your dishwasher is ENERGY STAR-rated, it can only use 3.5 gallons per cycle.

Myth: In the U.S., everyone can choose their energy supplier.

Fact: Only states that have energy deregulation can choose their own electricity and natural gas suppliers. Energy deregulation means that you, the home or business owner, can enjoy the freedom to purchase your natural gas or electricity from any energy supplier that you feel best suits your needs.

Myth: You need to purchase new appliances to be energy efficient.

Fact: While it’s true that newer appliances—like smart thermostats, ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and more—are built to be more energy efficient than older models, you don’t need them to cut back on your energy use. There are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to help decrease your energy use (and bill!) without spending a dime.

Myth: If I turn the thermostat to its lowest/highest temperature, it will cool/heat the area faster.

Fact: Just because the change is more extreme, doesn’t mean it will speed up the process. Setting your thermostat to 60°F will not cool your home/business quicker than setting it to 73°F. Plus, your AC unit can only keep up if you’re setting the temperature 15-20°F lower than the outside temperature. If it’s 100°F outside, and you’re setting the thermostat to 65°F, you’re wasting energy and overloading your AC unit.

Myth: An energy supplier and an energy utility are one and the same.

Fact: The terms are often used interchangeably, but suppliers and utilities are actually quite different. An energy supplier provides the energy that utility companies deliver. Utility companies deliver energy (gas, electricity, etc.) directly to the consumer.

UGI EnergyLink is part of UGI Energy Services, which reliably supplies and markets natural gas, liquid fuels, and electricity to over 40,000 customers across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. We are a supplier, marketer, and midstream services provider.

Myth: Devices that are plugged in don’t use energy unless they’re powered on.

Fact: A phantom load is the wasted energy an electronic device or appliance uses when it’s powered off. Items like televisions, microwaves, computers, chargers, and printers all use “standby power” when powered off. Phantom loads can contribute to up to 10% of your energy bill, so be sure to unplug any devices you’re not using!

At UGI EnergyLink, we’re here to answer any questions and clear up any misconceptions you may have. If we can help walk you through anything related to energy use or shopping, please contact us today.