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40 Force: Energy Audit

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Your home is one of the biggest expenses you’ll ever have.

So, why add to the costs of home ownership?

Monday, the 40 Force explained LIVE how you can reel in those high energy bills.

From lighting, heating and cooling, and your appliances, Western Mass. Electric energy efficiency expert, Bill Stack, offered tips to save money while saving energy.

Lighting

  • Lighting accounts for 20 percent of the electric bill in the average home in the country.
  • CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs and LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are good energy saving replacements. Energy efficient bulbs exert 75% less energy, produce 75 precent less heat, and last up to 10 times longer than standard lighting.
  • Each bulb replaced can save about $10 a year in energy costs. They come in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes. They are also now made available in 3-way dimmable lights.

Cooling systems

  • There are ways to manage energy costs when cooling your home during the hot summer months. The first, and most basic is to close window shades, drapes and blinds during the day. It’s also important turn off the air conditioner off while you’re not home.
  • Programmable thermostats are beneficial for homeowners. They are inexpensive to buy and could save you about $150 each year. To use a programmable thermostat, set the temperature to return to a comfortable setting a half hour before you come home, so that it doesn’t waste energy while you’re away.
  • A reasonable temperature in the summertime is a suggested range between 74ºF – 78ºF.
  • It is also important to make sure cooling systems are clean.

Electronics

  • An average home has 40 electronic products continuously using power. They cost when they are in use and also when they are in stand-by and off modes too.
  • Home electronics are responsible for 15 percent of overall household electricity use.
  • Type and size does matter. Mass Save statistics state that with every 10 inches you increase your screen size, the TV will use between 50-70% more energy. As far as types go, LCD TVs generally use about 30% less energy than plasma TVs.
  • Computers also use a lot of energy. One action to take is to use an advanced power strip.

Kitchen

  • Appliances in a home use a lot of energy and cost you. Refrigerators and freezers are one example. Energy efficient refrigerators can save 15 percent more energy and more money in your pocket. An old fridge can cost up to $150 a year in energy costs. As an incentive to get a new one, you can recycle an old fridge or freezer with Mass Save and get $50, plus free pickup. Then you can get a rebate to purchase an energy efficient fridge.
  • Dishwashers use a lot of energy by heating water. Energy efficient models internally heat water to reduce overall water heating costs.
  • They also have more efficient motors which saves energy and water, and pre-rinsing.
  • To cook in a kitchen, it is better to use a microwave instead of the oven. The microwave does not generate as much excess heat.

HELPFUL LINKS:
MassSave – Helping Businesses and Residents Save Money on Energy
Information on Home Energy Assessments and Audits
Bill Stack’s Bright Ideas
How to save on cooling costs
How to save energy while cooking
How landscaping can help energy costs
Guide to Energy Efficient Lighting
Guide to Air Sealing
Energy Star Home Tool

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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