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6 tips to help you save up to $400 a year in energy cost

These six energy-saving tips are tailored specifically for gas and electric residential customers in hotter climates to help them reduce their energy usage and lower their energy bills. (The savings amounts below are illustrative only. Actual savings … #savingenergy

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Wind Power as a Viable Solution to Meeting Alternative Energy Needs

Although it is much less expensive to initially get hooked into the local electric company’s grid than it is to set up and hook into wind turbines, in the long run one saves money by utilizing the wind for one’s energy needs—while also becoming more independent. Not receiving an electric bill while enjoying the advantages of the modern electrically-driven lifestyle is a wondrous feeling.

Electric bills and fuel bills are rising steadily—but the cost of wind turbine energy is zero, and the cost of installing and hooking up a turbine is steadily coming down as demand rises and more commercial success is realized by various companies producing the turbines and researching technologies to make them ever more efficient. In addition, people are moving away from the traditional electric grids and the fossil fuels for personal reasons including desire for greater independence, the desire to live remotely or rurally without having to “go primitive”, political concerns such as fears of terrorist strikes on oil fields or power grids, or concerns about the environment. Again, this motivation to get away from the traditional energy sources is the same one that causes people to seek the power of the wind for their energy, giving more business opportunities to profit from wind turbine production and maintenance, which drives their costs down for the consumers. In nearly thirty states at the time of this writing, homeowners who remain on the grid but who still choose to use wind energy (or other alternative forms) are eligible for rebates or tax breaks from the state governments that end up paying for as much as 50% of their total “green” energy systems’ costs. In addition, there are 35 states at the time of this writing where these homeowners are allowed to sell their excess energy back to the power company under what are called “net metering laws”. The rates that they are being paid by the local power companies for this energy are standard retail rates—in other words, the homeowners are actually profiting from their own energy production.

Some federal lawmakers are pushing to get the federal government to mandate these tax breaks and other wind power incentives in all 50 states. Japan and Germany already have national incentive programs in place. However, “A lot of this is handled regionally by state law. There wouldn’t really be a role for the federal government,” the Energy Department’s Craig Stevens says. And as might be imagined, there are power companies who feel that it’s unfair that they should have to pay retail rates to private individuals. “We should [only have to] pay you the wholesale rate for … your electricity,” according to Bruce Bowen, Pacific Gas & Electric’s director of regulatory policy. However, the companies seem to be more worried about losing short term profits than about the benefits, especially in the long run, of the increased use of wind turbines or wind farms. Head of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies of California V. John White points out, “It’s quality power that strengthens the grid.”

4 Energy Saving Tips You Need to Know

There are a lot of things you can do to save energy every day. Whether you’re looking to conserve energy at home, to help lower your heating bills, or interested in making a big environmental impact, there is a plethora of information available online to get you started.

After reviewing many of the resources available, it’s clear that you can easily get caught up in so much information. To help you sort it out and get you on the fast track to energy savings, we’ve created a list five tips to jump your conservation efforts.

Energy Saving Tip 1

Make sure you turn off all lights and appliances when they aren’t in use. ALWAYS. This is one of the main causes of energy waste and skyrocketing energy bills. Turning off lights and electronic devices both in your home and elsewhere will always help to improve energy conservation.

Energy Saving Tip 2

Turning down the temperature of your home by just one degree can drastically decrease your energy consumption while also helping to lower your home heating bill. You can also consider improving some of your home and window insulation to help you keep the warm air inside during winter and the cool air inside during summer.

Energy Saving Tip 3

If you have the option for choosing lightweight packaging when purchasing products, remember that the less packaging involved typically means there was less energy used to produce it. Making smart decisions is one of the best ways you can help improve energy conservation on a global scale.

Energy Saving Tip 4

Rethinking your travel schedule is another great way to save. Everyone has last minute (and late night) trips to the store, for example, but if you’re able to run 4 errands in one trip instead of spreading them out over multiple trips, you’ll use a lot less gas while saving money.

These energy saving tips are just the tip of the iceberg, but accomplishing even just a few will get you started saving in no time. What do you think are the most important ways to get started saving energy? Leave your ideas in the comments below!
Home energy and conservation expert, resource on propane heating.

Maximize Energy Savings in the Winter

All homeowners want to keep their utility bill as low as possible. Energy savings can be tough during the winter when you want to keep the heat cranked all the way up. Fortunately, there are some very easy energy savings strategies that will keep you toasty, but it will also keep your bank account happy.

– One of the best strategies for saving money in your home is to make sure it is properly insulated. Proper insulation can keep the weather outside and the pleasant temperature that you want, inside. In addition, it will keep down your home’s energy cost.

– If you live in an old house, the building materials may have been designed before central heating and air conditioning, which means they are not optimized for energy savings. However, simply adding insulation to your attic can trim your utility bill a great deal. The best attic insulation is at least seven inches thick.

– It may seem too easy to be true, but sunlight can also help with energy savings. Even if it is cold outside, a sunny day can heat the inside of your house. Simply keep the curtains and the blinds open. At the same time, you want to shut them when the sun sets in order to keep additional heat from escaping through the glass.

– Programmable thermostats regulate your home’s temperature, so you don’t have to think about it. In the winter, keep it at 68 degrees and wear extra layers if you are chilly. When you’re away, you can lower the temperature up to another ten degrees. This way you can use much less energy. Savings on your next utility bill are guaranteed.

– If you have a furnace, it needs to be cleaned every year in order to keep it efficient. Sometimes they are not installed properly, which can create a great deal of expense over time.

– A lot of air can escape through cracks around windows and doors. This wastes a lot of energy that is being used to warm your house. Weather-stripping is the best way to seal the moveable parts around windows and doors. If there are small cracks next to the windows or by doorframes, caulk is the best option for keeping in the heat. Caulk can be used on any other cracks in your home as well.

– The damper should always be closed in the fireplace when it is not in use. Otherwise, hot air will rise up through the chimney, and cold air will travel straight down it.

All of these tips can help you maximize your energy savings during the winter. Don’t let your utility bill get too high, just use these simple and straightforward tips to keep it warm inside and keep the cold outside.