Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Be a Weekend Energy Warrior!

Man with tools

Feel like you're under attack from energy waste and higher utility costs? Now is the time to fight back. Arm yourself with a few simple tools and a little time and you're ready to go into action to make your home more efficient and comfortable and send your energy bills in retreat.

Start simple

Where do you begin your battle for a lower energy bill? It's easy. As easy as changing a light bulb! ENERGY STAR certified CFL or LED bulbs use at least 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescents and last much longer.

Next, install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. These typically cost less than $20 to purchase and they help stop a big drain on your energy and water use.

Send your energy bills into retreat

Take your campaign to the next level with these low-cost energy-saving strategies.

Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable unit saves energy by automatically adjusting temperatures while you are asleep or when you are away from home. Some tips:

  1. Select a location away from vents, windows or drafty spaces.
  2. Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding proper installation.
  3. Typically, thermostats only require low voltage wiring. Remember to shut off power before beginning work.

If the job requires more than just a simple replacement, consider contacting a qualified professional.

Air seal your attic. Leaks in unfinished attics can waste energy, even when adequate insulation is installed. To get started:

  1. Locate all ceiling fans, recessed lighting fixtures and electrical outlets in the ceiling below your attic. Each of these is a potential source of air leakage.
  2. From the attic, pull back the insulation to find the cutouts and seal them with caulk or expandable foam.
  3. Check for and seal gaps around plumbing vents, furnace flues and ductwork.
  4. Seal the attic access with weatherstripping.

Seal and insulate ducts. Leaky ducts can waste a substantial amount of energy. Closing these gaps can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent or more. To wrap up savings:

  1. Use mastic tape to seal ductwork joints in unheated spaces, such as your attic, crawlspace or garage.
  2. Encase ducts in insulation to increase their energy efficiency.
  3. Seal and insulate any ducts you can access in the conditioned part of your house, such as the basement.

Call for reinforcements

You're well on your way to victory! You've got your home sealed up tight and energy bills on the run. Press your advantage with a professional home energy audit. Your auditor will alert you to any additional cost-saving opportunities.

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This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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