The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission says now is the time to prepare for winter energy costs. This is the 12th year of the PUC's "Prepare Now" initiative. Visit http://www.puc.pa.gov (click on Prepare Now) to learn more about energy conservation, home heating safety tips, ways to save energy, and how to prepare for winter energy costs.
Take a few minutes to review some energy saving tips from the PUC:
(A complete list and full details can be found on the PUC website, http://www.puc.pa.gov/general/consumer_ed/pdf/Winter_Energy_Tips.pdf)
• Enroll in Budget Billing. Contact your utility and ask to participate in their budget billing.
• Low-Income Programs. If you are on a fixed income or a person with a low income, there are programs available to help you pay your heating bills and weatherize your home.
• Program It. Install a programmable furnace thermostat that will lower the temperature automatically at night and raise the temperature when you are up and about. (For every degree you raise or lower the thermostat setting, you can see a difference of up to 3 percent in energy costs.)
• Turn Down Your Thermostat. It’s one of the most effective ways to cut energy usage. If you can tolerate it and your health permits a slightly cooler home, lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees.
• Turn Down Hot-Water Tank. Turn down your hot-water tank to 120 degrees and set it at 140 degrees if you have a dishwasher.
• Insulate Your Attic. Make sure your home has a minimum of R-30 insulation in ceilings or attics. By adding insulation, your home will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
• Take a Look at Your Ductwork. Dust, lint and other debris can block air vents and reduce the efficiency of your furnace. Be sure to keep ducts and grills clean.
• Draw the Drapes. Close your draperies when it gets dark outside. This will help cut heat loss through windows at night.
• Focus on the Fireplace. Make sure the damper in your chimney is tightly closed when you’re not using the fireplace. Save even more energy by installing glass doors on your fireplace - they can prevent valuable heat from being sucked up the chimney.
• Put Your Thermostat in the Right Place. Keep the area around your thermostat clear- drafts created by appliances or lighting fixtures can trick your thermostat into turning the heat on when it isn’t needed.
• Change Your Filters. Clogged, dirty filters slow airflow in your heating system and cause your furnace to work harder and run longer. Consider having your furnace serviced and cleaned at the beginning of each heating season.
• Don’t Pre-Heat. Most recipes can be completed successfully without pre-heating the oven. If you must pre-heat for baking, turn the oven on for just a few minutes before putting your food in.
• Keep the Oven Door Closed. Opening up the oven door lets out heat and drives up energy consumption. To use your oven more efficiently, try cooking several dishes of similar cooking temperatures at the same time.
• Use Your Slow Cooker. If you’re preparing a roast, use your slow cooker to cook the meat and any vegetables you will be serving with it. This eliminates the need to use both the oven and the stove.
• Microwave When Possible. Microwave ovens cook food 75 percent faster and use less energy than conventional ovens.
Starion is a
licensed electricity and gas supplier in the deregulated energy market since
September 2009. Energy deregulation gives consumers the choice of an
alternative electric supplier and determines the rates and terms at which they
purchase electric generation services. Starion services markets in
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland,
New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Starion is
strategically positioned for continued growth in new markets for years to come.
information about Starion Energy, Inc., visit http://www.starionenergy.com