10 Tips to Save Energy Consumers Money this Winter

on November 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM

UK Hit By Heavy Snow Fall

The EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook finds US households heated with natural gas, propane and electricity face higher heating bills this winter.

Projected changes in residential expenditures from last winter are:

  • 13% higher for homes that heat primarily with natural gas
  • 9% higher for propane
  • 2% higher for electricity
  • 2% lower for heating oil

Higher heating costs can hit families on fixed budgets hard, so the Consumer Energy Alliance compiled a list of winter energy-saving tips that can soften the increased heating cost burden anticipated this season.

“Consumers should be spending more for holiday presents not for energy bills,” said David Holt, President of CEA. “With a proper federal energy policy, these harsh winter forecasts that are being predicted for many parts of the country should not also pinch American families by increasing heating costs.

“For a family on a fixed budget increased energy costs are no small matter. The good news is there are steps consumers can take to offset high heating costs. CEA looks forward to working with all its member companies from the energy and consuming sectors to help educate consumers on the actions they can take to save money on winter energy bills.”

  1. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night.
  2. Cover drafty windows Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce cold air from
    getting in.
  3. Find and seal leaksSeal the air leaks around pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
  4. Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
  5. Check the air filter on your heating system every month. Replace every 3 months or when dirty.
  6. Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed.
  7. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and
    cooling bills.
  8. Turn down the temperature of your water heater
    to the warm setting (120°F). Water heating can
    account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.
  9. Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR water heater or furnace.If your gas water heater is more than 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.If your furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer Energy Star rated model that is about 15 percent more efficient.
  10. When fireplace is NOT in use make sure the damper is CLOSED.