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CUT ENERGY COSTS




Energy Saving Tips for Every Room in the House




Homeowners can save hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills. How? By using the Home Energy Saver website at http://HomeEnergySaver.lbl.gov

Energy efficiency programs can help control your energy costs and even permanently lower your electricity bill. MassSave offers eligible customers up to $1,500 in incentives for energy-saving measures in single family homes. To learn more, see www.masssave.com or call 1-800-632-8300.   You can also visit www.myenergystar.com for energy saving options and offers on ENERGY STAR products and you can see the Department of Energy website www.energysavers.gov.  

The federally funded Fuel Assistance program helps income-eligible families pay their energy bills. Payments vary depending on household income, household composition and heating fuel costs in relation to income. If your household receives public assistance (Aid for families with Dependent Children or Home Relief), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) of food stamps, you are probably eligible for these benefits. Households not receiving public assistance may be eligible for benefits if the gross monthly household income is at or below income guidelines. Your local Community Action Program agency determines eligibility. To find your local agency, visit www.energybucks.com or call 1-800-322-3223. Also call the toll free “Heatline” at 1-800-632-8175 or on the internet at www.mass.gov/dhcd for a complete list of fuel assistance agencies. If you go online click on “Community Services and then “Heating Assistance”.

If you are unable to pay your electric bill, you may qualify to receive help from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, which is administered by the Salvation Army. If you need help, contact the Salvation Army chapter office nearest you. Contact also the Federal Government who has assistance available for low income residents through the federal low income home energy assistance program and the Weatherization Assistance Program. Also contact your state’s public utility commission or consumer advocate with questions about assistance programs and options like budget billing.

How to buy a light bulb

Trade your old incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones. They use about 70% less energy than regular bulbs and last 10 times longer. If you replace one 75 watt incandescent bulb with a 25 watt compact fluorescent bulb you may save up to $83 over the life of the bulb.  The fluorescent bulb will replace the old incandescent light bulb by the middle of the next decade, reports Steven Mufson. Legislators aim to reduce electricity use in the United States and though some homeowners are reluctant to make the switch, the change can be cost effective. They could cut their utility bill by an average of $50 a year using more energy and water efficient washing machines.

"If every American household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a LED bulb, the country would conserve enough energy to light 3 million homes and save more than $600 million annually. It would be as if 800,000 cars were taken off the road, according to a Web site maintained by the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, " reports Mufson.

For help in picking the best bulb for your needs go to www.energystar.gov .

Energy Efficient Video Streaming

Also plug all your major electronics into a power strip. Appliances and e-gadgets use electricity even when turned off, but flicking the switch on the power strip when you leave the house effectively unplugs them. If you unplug appliances and electronics that stay on even if you turn the switch off (they have a light emitting diode that glows even after you turn them off) you could save $200 a year.

Energy Saving Gift Ideas

Finally give your home an energy checkup. Home usage accounts for about 35% of all the electricity used in the U.S., so you can make an impact. There are many financial incentives to make sure your home is not an energy waster. It’s not just the money you save; there are refunds and rebates and credits you can earn from various sources as well. The place to start is with your local utility. Their number and website is on your monthly bill. They will provide free advice on how to make your home more energy efficient. Many utilities will even send a trained representative to your home to do an energy audit to find where you are wasting energy and then recommend a plan to fix it. If you cannot find one with your local utility company hire one which can cost between $400-$650. A list of auditors certified by the nonprofit Residential Energy Services Network is at www.resnet.us and click on consumer information or go to www.natresnet.org/directory to find energy auditors in your area.. On average an energy audit will show you how to save up to 30% on utility bills.

Air conditioning and heating can account for up to 60% of the average home’s energy use, followed by the water heater at 16%, the refrigerator at 12%, lights at 7%, and your TV and other electronics appliances after that, so those are logical places to start. The energy bill that Congress enacted in 2006 provides incentives potentially worth thousands of dollars to buy energy efficient appliances, upgrade of your heating and cooling systems, and use solar power. If you are buying a refrigerator choose a model with the Energy Star label. It will use 20% less if you are upgrading from a fridge that is 10 years or more years old. This will cut down on air pollution from power plants and will also shave 15% off your utility bill. Replacing all your appliances with energy star models could save you up to $2000 a year.

At www.hes.lbl.gov you can type your zip code then answer a few questions to find out how much cash you can save if you make your home more energy efficient. This home energy saver helps consumers find the best ways to save energy in their homes by evaluating your home energy use with customize results. This online calculator will help you do an audit yourself and it has been develop by several federal agencies.

For more information please visit:

US Department of Energy (www.energy.gov)

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy-US Dept. of Energy were you will find information, tips for renters and recommendations for how much insulation to use in your climate. 

                                                                        (www.eere.energy.gov  )

Residential Energy Services Network www.natresnet.org

Energy Guide www.energyguide.com

Turn it off




If you got oil heat, joining a oil co-op (a group of members large enough to purchase oil at wholesale prices) can cut your heating costs by $300 a year. You will find oil co-ops listed under “oil” in your phone book. Most are open to any local resident and may charge an annual membership fee as little as $5. If you fill up your furnace in the spring you may get an even cheaper discount because of the “off season”.

When it is time to replace a household appliance choose a product with an Energy Star label. Sponsored by the EPA and the Department of Energy, the Energy Star program rates products from light bulbs to kitchen appliances. An Energy Star label guarantees that a product is energy efficient. For more information go to www.energystar.gov  Energy Star products use about 30% less energy. This site (www.energystar.gov) also gives you information on home energy raters, energy incentives and lenders offering Energy Efficient Mortgages to help you purchase an energy efficient new home or pay for energy upgrades to an existing home. You can learn about energy-star certified homes and energy efficient heating systems and other appliances.

Visit www.dsireusa.org for federal, state and local programs that offer incentives for energy upgrades in your area. See the Alliance to Save Energy www.ase.org/taxcredits which lists products (such as windows, insulation and heating and cooling systems) that can earn you up to $500 in federal tax credits. This two year program is schedule to end 12/31/07 unless Congress extends the benefit. Also go to  www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/designing_remodeling

The Center for Alternative technology (www.cat.org.uk) presents practical solutions to environmental problems in a fun way.

Determine the approximate energy usage and cost of dozens of major electric appliances at www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/home/appcalc.asp

Buying an energy efficient Home

Green building innovations are popping up everywhere. The Healthy Building Network’s Pharos Project aims to tap the collective knowledge of green building experts and enthusiasts to answer the question of how you learn about these innovations and how you determine which ones are best. It uses software that allows an online community to create and maintain an encyclopedia of green building knowledge. The community evaluates building materials over the duration of their lifetimes based on health, environmental and social factors. To join the community or learn from its work visit www.pharosproject.net/wiki. 

The American Council for an Energy efficient Economy offer an online version of its popular Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings that will help you save money whether you rent or own (www.acee.org/consumerguide) You will find great ideas from the quick , easy and cheap to more complex investments that can result in significant long term energy and financial savings. Start saving with the Home Energy Checklist for Action. This online guide also helps you take advantage of rebates and tax incentives.

Improving Energy Efficiency by using recomendations by an Energy Saver Contractor

 

 

These sites will help you find products for the home that conserve energy and the environment: www.fscus.org which is the Forest Stewardship Council lists wood and paper items; www.environmentalhomecenter.com that sells all you need for a green home and www.rateitgreen.com that lists and lets visitor rate different products. See www.paperstoneproducts.com for items made of old cardboard containers and recycled office waste.

Many hardware stores carry supplies for weatherizing your house and repairing ducts if not try these online retailers like www.amconservationgroup.com or The Energy Federation Group at www.efi.org

 

Recommended websites for information on solar power:

www.dsireusa.org  which spells out rebates, loans and other incentives available in each state for all renewable energy categories and for energy conservation; www.homepower.com which includes a directory of renewable energy dealers and installers; www.nabcep.org which helps find certified

solar installers listed with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners; www.pvwatts.org determines how much power a PV system will produce at your location and lists local utility electric rates; through  www.dcpower-systems.com  you can locate a solar installer who can give you a price quote on a building integrated solar project.

How to keep cool in the summer

You can reduce heat loss through windows by covering them with plastic window film or insulating window inserts such as those available at www.windowtherm.com. Buy double or triple-pane models designated energy star with a low “E” coating. To find out what to buy for your climate zone, see the window map at www.energystar.gov and visit www.efficientwindows.org for tips on choosing energy efficient windows.

Thermal coverings are a convenient way to add insulation right were you need it most… your drafty windows. Rooms will feel cozier throughout the year protecting you from the summer heat and the winter cold by letting you adjust the thermostat to save on energy costs. Buy them and look for more information on JCPenney energy solutions at www.jcp.com/energysolutions

Why you should insulate your attic




More on insulating your attic



Insulating you attic: DIYor hire a contractor?


Learn about energy-efficient and renewable home heating options at www.MotherEarthNews.com . Learn how to do things better for less with Mother’s great books, plans and archive CD’s too.

Heating water takes 13% of the energy budget in a typical home. A tank less heater, usually powered by natural gas or electricity costs about twice what a conventional heater costs but it can save up to 50% in energy use.  There are also solar water heating systems that range from $2,500 to $3,000 including installation and produce about 80 to 100 gallons of hot water per day. There is also a new do-it-yourself kit for solar water heating: visit www.fafco.com

ArchiTech 4 audits your utility bills then shows you how to reduce your energy usage. Download it a www.download.com

 

The “energy film” that sticks to your windows block 38% of heat loss and clings without adhesive. Find it at www.energy-film.com . You can also find these heat control window films at www.lowes.com . They are treated to block out heat and UV rays while letting the sun light your home.

 

Motion sensors only turn on lights when they detect motion and they turn themselves off. You can get battery operated ones like the LED Motion Sensor light at www.qvc.com and the First Alert Motion Sensing light socket that you can use over your regular light bulb at www.amazon.com

 

Ask your local gas and electric company for a free energy audit.

 

Save 20% off your heating bill with a few coats of insulating paint which comes in white or clear colors and you can just use it right over your existing color. It dries to a matte finish and it traps the heat inside your home. Try Nansulate Home Project, it is water based paint, environmentally safe  at www.nansulate.com or make a special order at your local hardware store like Lowes.

 

Read the book :”The Home Energy Diet” by energy auditor Paul Scheckel

 
Meet the Nest Learning Thermostat | Nest.It needs no programming. With auto-schedule, Nest learns from you and programs itself. It has Auto-Away. No need to t heat or cool an empty home. Auto-away adjusts the temperature after you leave
  • It also has a remote control. With the Nest app, you can change the temperature, check energy history and get an alert if your home is too hot or cold
  • Use programable thermostats to save energy


    When buying a house or refinancing you can as part of the purchase loan or refinance, borrow extra money for things that will lower your utility bill by making an ultra efficient house .. you can add a Fannie Mae loan product called home style mortgage that can be used to purchase solar panels, extra insulation, solar farm, water saving devices. The loan will be at the same percent as the mortgage or refinance. In addition you should be able to get rebates that can cover 30% of the cost.