- Mike Rutledge Staff Writer
Thursday is Energy Efficiency Day, and the entire week has been Public Energy Week. Here are some tips about how to save power, courtesy of Efficiency Smart, an organization Hamilton has hired to help its customers reduce their usage to lower their bills and allow the city to produce less electricity.
In the home…
To cut about 9 percent of your annual energy costs, switch just five of your home’s most frequently used light bulbs with Energy Star certified LEDs (light emitting diodes).
To reduce heating costs 20 percent, caulk windows, seal leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and slide draft guards under your doors.
Install an “advanced thermostat” so you don’t waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Such devices can automatically lower your home’s heat to when you are away or asleep, and increase it when you are returning home or after you wake up. Some devices also can be controlled remotely via cell phones. Hamilton residents also can get rebates for purchases of these thermostats.
Clean or change furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters slow air flow, making the system work harder.
Look for the Energy Star labels, which are available across more than 70 product categories. The Efficiency Smart program lets Hamilton customers save through Energy Star product rebates.
At a business…
- Light facilities efficiently.Many energy-efficient lighting upgrades can pay for themselves through lower bills within two years. Consider switching to LEDs and using lighting sensors that automatically turn off lights in infrequently used rooms.
- Upgrade heating/cooling systems. There are ways to avoid upfront-investment costs, including hiring an energy service company
- Manage temperatures by zone, sparing energy by not heating empty areas.
- Follow the Four Ts: Turn off equipment that is not in use; Turn down thermostats, water heaters, and light levels during unoccupied hours; Tune up equipment to ensure it is operating efficiently; and Tear out old equipment and replace it as a last resort.
Hamilton utility customers can contact an Efficiency Smart energy consultant: The organization’s energy engineers can identify energy savings projects and provide cost-benefit analysis to help prioritize potential energy efficiency improvements. Financial incentives are available for eligible energy efficiency projects.
This service is available for free to businesses in participating communities. The organization can be found at www.energyefficiencyday.org.