Conservation and Energy Efficiency
Cost effective energy conservation always makes sense. This winter, conserving energy can help reduce your utility bills and lessen the impact of rate increases.
Turn Down Your Thermostat. It’s one of the most effective ways to cut your power usage. If you can be comfortable with, and your health permits, a slightly cooler home, lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees. Don’t forget to turn down your thermostat when you are not home and at night when you go to bed. Using a programmable thermostat lets you adjust your thermostat automatically.
Take Care of Your Furnace. Have your heating system inspected and serviced annually for more efficient operation. Check your duct work. Dust, lint and other debris can block air vents and reduce the efficiency of your furnace, so be sure to keep ducts and grills clean. Also take time to insulate ductwork that runs through unheated areas like basements or crawl spaces.
Turn Down the Tank. You can reduce your energy consumption by turning your hot water tank down to 120 degrees. Insulating your hot water pipes and installing a water heater insulation blanket on your tank can also help lower your energy use.
Cook Smart. A microwave uses half the energy of a conventional oven. If you do use a conventional oven, don’t pre-heat the oven any longer than necessary. Pre-heat food in the microwave and then finish cooking in a conventional oven.
In addition to the conservation tips above, your utility is a good source of information. To learn more, call your utility or visit its website.
Information on saving energy is also available on the Office of Energy and Planning’s new StayWarmNH website. Visit http://www.staywarmnh.org/residentialtips.htm for energy saving tips for residential customers and http://www.staywarmnh.org/businesstips.htm for tips for business customers.
Energy Efficiency Programs
Over the long term, energy efficient improvements to your home reduce your gas or electricity use. New Hampshire’s electric and gas utilities offer a variety of energy efficiency programs to their customers. Energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, air sealing, thermostat replacement, electric hot water conservation measures, and cost effective appliance and lighting upgrades can provide you with long-term savings in your utility bill. For more information about the programs offered by your electric and natural gas companies, contact your company directly or visit www.nhsaves.com.