Snowflake = tips
for cooler seasons.
UTILITY TIPS AND NEWS
Seniors, Senior Citizens, those noisy
Boomers, and concerned caregivers, have
submitted the following tips for utilities
does not involve one magic silver bullet.
It comes as the result of doing many things a
little better. Here are some senior suggestions.
Will you make a suggestion that will help
on your heating bill. Let in the
heat from sunshine by opening window blinds and drapes on the
sunny side of the house, then close them at night to act as window
Let in the heat from sunshine
by opening window blinds and drapes on the sunny side of the house, then
close them at night to act as window insulators.
you use a wood-burning fireplace for ambience--which is its only purpose
because it's a
method of heating--close
doors to the fireplace room if possible and crack a window an inch. A
slightly open window supplies outdoor air to fuel the fire, which is cheaper
than sending your already-heated air from other parts of the house up the
chimney. Lower the central heating thermostat to about 50 degrees. A "direct
vent" gas fireplace draws air from the outside to provide oxygen to the
flames, and does not draw out warm air from the house.
bath and other ventilating fans can pull out a houseful of warmed air
in just an hour. Use them sparingly and turn them off as soon as they're not
with your state energy department and your utility provider to see
what energy-efficiency programs they offer. Low-income requirements for some
programs are fairly generous. The federal program is called
Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program, often called
LIHEAP. It can help pay for
heating bills, weatherization assistance and energy-related home repairs.
Don't assume you do not qualify without investigating.
Go to this useful New York State site for timely
6. Don't automatically
assume that electric heating is too expensive.
Some electric utilities offer
much lower winter rates to those who
heat with electricity. Remember that with electricity no heat goes up
the chimney, and no fumes can leak into the house. Talk with your electric
company to determine your options. If they offer lower rates for heating,
ask whether they have made a commitment to that program for a
number of years----in writing.
7.Look for a sale on
screw-in fluorescent bulbs.
They go right into the
same socket your regular incandescent bulbs use. A 10 to 15 watt bulb gives
the light of 60 to 75 watts. You will pay more, $1.25 to 3.99 per bulb
depending on where you buy them. Prices do seem to be coming down. They last up to 15 times longer than a
regular incandescent bulb, and will save you many times over their cost in
electricity savings. They are making them now to even give off the same
quality of light as incandescent, if that is your preference. I have
two 5 watt bulbs that light up a large front porch, and 18 watt
lawn lights that do a great
job in front and in back. Almost every interior light or lamp in my house
has the same. You can get them to look like a regular bulb, or something
like the picture.
32 super tips for saving money on cooling and air
Electricity Prices: A Consumer's Guide
Energy Information Administration
11. I have broadband internet
access. So I was able to replace my old
(over $60 a month) with the following phone service which uses my
existing broadband connection (for
about $15 a month):
http://www.vonage.com/ Bill M 5-11-06
12, If you have a window(s) that the
sun hits directly for long periods of time in the summer, you are
getting a lot of heat from it.
Awnings will help.
a light colored blind
will reflect some of the heat.
Try taping the shiny side
of aluminum foil to the inside of your window where the sun hits.
This will be a low-cost way of getting rid of a lot of
heat. Of course, if
the window is in the front of the house, or you need light from
that window, one of the other solutions may be better.
Blowing straight down, they will cool you in the summer,. and
enable you to save on air conditioning.
them in the winter, and they will bring the heat down from the
ceiling. You can get a very effective fan--with lights--for as
little as $30 to $60. They are a little tricky to install, so you
will want help on that.
You can do some of the assembly ahead of time, and get an
electrician in to install two or three at one time.
hang your clothing on an outside line in the summer. It is
fresher, the sun bleaches the whites, and you save energy. But
what about the winter?
Hang them in! Often the humidity in your home could use a
boost in the winter, and all that moving warm air from your
furnace can help you save
on dryer energy use. Consider buying a portable hanger that
can collapse and be put away when not in use. Or get creative and
make your own. But be careful you don't put it in a place that is
easy to trip over, or where clothing could catch fire.
interesting article for Seniors who have a
dispute with a utility company.
Older Americans Dealing with Utility Companies Regarding Disputed
Utility Bills and Security Deposits.
energy calculators, and cold weather tips
from Kentucky Power, begun 9-1-06. You might
suggest this to your utility company!
your "land line" (i.e., home phone)
in favor of a cell
phone. You can use a cell phone ANYWHERE. Home, on the
road... it's the best deal ever. Just take your phone with you
wherever you go, and then use it at home as well. Why pay for
TWO phones?!? Cell phones are
invaluable when you are
traveling. Many people don't know this, but even a
non-connected phone (that is, not hooked to a service provider
such as Verizon or Sprint) MUST be able to access 911; so even
if you can't afford a phone, you can take a "dead" cell phone
(maybe your child or grandchild has one laying around?) and, as
long as it is able to be activated (by that, I mean the battery
charged), you can reach 911 and get help on the road (or at
home, for that matter). That is a Federal statute, courtesy of
the FCC. Rivahcat - Virginia
18. Making your home energy
efficient may cost a little bit up front, but the extra effort and
expense can save you a lot of money in the future.
Here are some
energy-saving tips to try:
* Replace your old thermostat with a new digital one
* Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents
* Replace the old seal on your refrigerator door
* Get a furnace “tune-up”
* Install a ceiling fan
Many utility companies
offer free energy audits by trained representatives who come to
your home and point out areas where energy is being wasted.
C. Foy, (A Senior in the distant future) Neshannock,
Turn off your computer and
monitor when not in use. Could save
hundreds of $$$ per year.
See how much
power your appliances are using DOE
Your Home's Energy Use DOE
25 cheap ways to keep your house
cooler (internal SeniorArk page)
23. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD
players, into power strips or better yet, surge
turn the power strips off when the equipment is
not in use
(TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts
up to 40% of
the power they use when running.).
devices in our homes use a lot of energy, even
when they are idle. All devices have the potential
to be vampire devices in the sense that its really
the characteristic of sucking extra electricity
while they are in standby mode.
A washing machine with electronic keypads still
requires energy even when not washing laundry.
California outlaws the sale of devices that use
more than three watts when on standby mode. But
nationally, the federal government is not setting
standards for those yet. To save on watt usage,
experts say you can unplug appliances when not in
use. D.D.L. San Fran, Ca
24. Lower the thermostat on your hot
water heater to 120°
26. Look for the
ENERGY STAR label
on home appliances and products. That extra $20-30
may seem like a lot, but not when you figure the
savings every year of ownership.
CHEAPER TO RUN THAN AIR CONDITIONERS
When I come in from the heat, or in the morning
after sleeping with the windows slightly open, I
turn on my dehumidifier and in about 10 minutes
maximum I feel cooler, and comfortable again --
and turn it off! For most of the summer I can get
by with just my dehumidifier and electric fans,
keeping air conditioner use to a minimum except on
the hottest days. That's a definite savings in
Thermal Windows and
Doors Thermal glass windows and doors have two or more
sheets of glass in a single frame. An insulating
air space between the sheets reduces heat gain
during the summer and heat loss during the winter.
Thermal glass is usually installed to replace
29. During heating and cooling seasons your
furnace filter should be replaced
monthly. This makes
your air flow more even, keeps your air cleaner,
and saves utility money. Consider a better filter
than the 99 cent blue things you see. They do a
better job with smaller particles and other
assorted fine things that float around the house.
Extend the life of your
refrigerator compressor, and save
electricity, by keeping the "coils" free of dust,
and allowing some space for air to flow. As
air is constantly sucked over those fins for
cooling, they act as dust filters and become
plugged. If you have a lot of dust or pet hair,
this could result in a ruined refrigerator.
Turn off the "heat dry" option on your
dishwasher. Your dishwasher uses only hot water,
and when completed, the dishes are so hot they
will air dry without extra heat.
If you live in
an older house where
windows tend to be drafty,
get a brand name product called
"Moretite". It comes in
rolls and is similar to caulking, but not as sticky. You apply it
easily by hand to all the cracks between your windows and their frames
to keep out the air. In the spring, just pill it off and trash it. I
do it. It works.
Ventilate your attic.
This is important in the summer for both cooling
and extending the life of your shingles. It is
important in the
deal with any moisture accumulation. A
vent" can be added if
you are reshingling. Or as a second best choice,
you can easily have side louvers added. A
whole house fan installed in a first or second
floor hall ceiling is another money saving
addition. On summer evenings when the outside air
cools more quickly than inside, a short period of
time with this fan running will cool off the
34. Make a phone call to your
phone company and speak with a real person
– a customer service representative.
Ask them to review your account and make a
suggestion as to how you might be
able to save. The company I use also has a
program for seniors called Lifeline Economy
Service. submitted by L.L., , Maine
August and/or September quantity discounts.
tempting to turn up the heat on a cool, rainy
Sunday. Instead, I dig out the
dress for the weather and
decide to cook
something in the oven. This takes the chill
off and when it's time to read the newspaper, I
can always make a cup of hot tea and put a "throw"
across my legs.
36. Some tips from Consumer Reports on
Saving Money on Your Phone Bills
in Fall, Save Money in Winter. Useful article
telling us the things we need to do before the
worst of the weather hits.
38. In western society we have gotten so used to
all out electrical gadgets and do-dads that we
seldom stop to think about the cost of these
a modern computer
example can cost several hundred dollars per year
in electricity alone! And when you are done
using your computer for this session, you WILL
turn it off - right?!
all your chargers. Yes, they consume small
electric current but if you leave them plugged in
day in and day out for months, you will feel their
effects on your electric bills. Remember that
these little things, when pile up can be big.
you do not want to enter cold home, you can set up
heating system or a
system. In this way, you do not have to
leave the heating system running all day. All you
have to do is to set the time when you want your
heating system to work and you will save a lot of
41. If you don't want to turn the lights on and
off every time you go in and out of the room, you
might want to get some
timers, dimmers and
motion sensors to do the job for you. They
are worth investing for.
tips from the Department of Energy
Ever notice in
the winter that the
inside of your dryer is ice cold when you
open the door?
Check the flap on the exterior
of your house. If it is sticking open, it is
allowing cold air to pour into your house. Some
dryers only, disconnect the exhaust and
plug the hole to the outside in the winter, so the
hot air can be discharged into the house. Be sure
to filter the discharged air or your house can
become a mess. I have used a nylon stocking
slipped over the end of the hose. Check stalking
regularly for plugging up with lint, or the dryer
will lose efficiency. Also consider how much
humidity is going into the house. I have seen
items that you can purchase in Home and Hardware
stores to aid in this process.
44. Did you
light colored shingles remain cooler and
outlast dark colored ones.
(Heat reflection) They also keep the attic cooler.
45. When deciding
on what to do when installing a new heating
many folks are selecting
"hybrid" electric/gas system. Combining
an electric heat pump with a gas furnace isn't
really a new idea. What's new is that the
controls are getting more sophisticated and
making it easier to switch between the two. “Now
you have a thermostat on the wall that does the
controlling for you. It monitors the indoor
temperature and monitors the outdoor temperature
and automatically switches over at the
temperature that you can preset at the
thermostat. Plus there is the
feature in tht the heat pump doubles as a
central air conditioner.
both your water heater and hot water pipes, and
perhaps your heating pipes to realize
considerable savings all year round. Make sure
that you don't cover the top or bottom of the
tank, nor get insulated material anywhere near
the thermostat or burner compartment on he water
heater. For the pipes themselves, you can either
go with specialized insulation sleeves for use
with hot water pipes, or make up your own out of
strips of thin insulation. If your furnace pipes
run through unheated areas, you may want to
insulate those as well.
efficient upgrades will often pay for themselves
through greater savings on energy bills.
initial cost of upgrading a person’s home can
get expensive. One possible solution that
Phelps suggests is taking out an
Efficient Mortgage. These mortgages can
help pay for the start-up costs of upgrading a
person’s home, and can even have financial
benefits in the short term. For example, if the
mortgage costs $20 per month, but the upgrade
saves $40 per month, the homeowner will save
money and use less energy.
To move us away
from dependence upon non-renewable oil, gas and
coal, and high-risk nuclear power,
alternative energy systems utilize
renewable resources for electricity, heating,
cooling and transportation.
49. Many states
have programs to help seniors, and others, cope
with utilities . For example, Pennsylvania, an
extremely senior-friendly state, has a winter
program called "Stay Warm PA"
http://www.staywarmpa.com/ ) Click on your
state on our
Links/Government page, then click your state
on the map to begin a search.
every bill you pay each month and get in touch
with the company, utility, etc. that the
bills come from to ask if there is anything you
can do to reduce your monthly costs. It never
hurts to ask. Many of these sources are very
helpful in suggesting ways to save, recommending
different pricing plans, etc.
51. Expanding on
The Source To Ask About Savings
When in doubt, reach out. Take every bill you
pay each month and get in touch with the
company, utility, etc. that the bills come from
to ask if there is anything you can do to reduce
your monthly costs. It never hurts to ask, and
we've found that many of these sources are very
helpful in suggesting ways to save, recommending
different pricing plans, etc.
Airlocks to Cut Down on Energy Loss. In
cold winter climates, one of the best ways you
can cut down on energy/heat loss in your house
is to employ an "airlock." Yes, think science
fiction movies. Essentially, an airlock is an
area that exists between two doors that you must
go through to enter your house. This can either
be an existing porch structure, or even a simple
2x4 and plastic structure that you add to your
main door. The whole philosophy of this is that
you go through one door before opening another,
keeping the cold gusts from flowing into your
house, and the hot air from flowing out.
53. If you use a
clothes dryer, be sure to
one load immediately with another. This
avoids the cost of heating up all of that metal
in the dryer itself. And be sure to clean the
lint filter every time. This enables the dryer
to dry more quickly, and saves you money.
saving money on utilities, or anything else for
that matter, is a matter of
together many small savings. They add up!
It makes no sense to heat or air condition rooms
you never or rarely use. Close and
perhaps tape the vent. Close the door to the
room, and place a blocking towel or other item
at the space under the door.
The Senior who has been gouged at
the gasoline pump for the last two years or so, should
not sit and take another gouging at the basement
Read the facts on how your natural gas
provider is not passing on reductions in cost to
you, and what you can do to change that.
57. Here is what
may be happening in our state. Sounds like a
good Federal program.
Propose Tax Cut for Money-saving Light Bulbs
How's this for a
bright idea? Give every Utah family a $30 tax
cut for the purchase of long-lasting light
bulbs and save the state millions in energy
costs. RL, Salt Lake
58. SPI has just
introduced a new common sense approach to saving
energy and money with the
Vent-Miser™, an easy to use product that
air flow to individual rooms when they will be
is an article on it. A.T. Somerset, NJ
Reports Oct 2007 -10
Things You Can Do to Save Hundreds on Energy
60. Fix defective
plumbing or dripping faucets. A single
hot water faucet can waste 212 gallons of
water a month! That not only increases water
bills, but also increases the gas or electric
bill for heating the water. That would be like
heating a 40-gallon tank, all the way from cold
to hot----5 TIMES !!!!
Caren Foy, Realtor,
New Castle, PA
61. There are a
lot of online sites to help you make simple
repairs in your home. For example, here is an
ehow.com page on how to
fix a leaky faucet. If you don't like this
site, search on Google, Yahoo, or elsewhere for
"fix a leaky faucet" , or "fix a
62. Here's a new,
nifty little service that could save you money
on your cell phone bill, especially if you're a
Validas is a web service that works like
this: You download your bill from your cell
company's website in PDF format (Validas tells
you how to do this), then upload it to Validas.
The numbers crunch, then you get a report
graphically outlining your cell phone usage,
plus a page suggesting ways you can save money
on that bill. Validas is free for the first use,
then you have to pay for additional bill
uploads: $5 for one upload to $20 for 15
63. With cooler weather coming
up, don't forget to
change your ceiling fan direction.
Summer - generally, blades
move in a counter-clockwise direction (downward)
Winter - generally, blades
move in a clockwise direction (blowing against ceiling,
to turn the fan off
when you leave the room (Ceiling
fans cool people,
not rooms. If the room is unoccupied, turn off the ceiling
fan to save energy.)
clean the dirt from
the fan at least before you switch directions, or
you may see a dust storm in the room. Your fan will either
have a switch on the base of it or if you have an older
one, it will have a smaller chain you will pull to change
the direction. sfw,
Assistance - If you are a senior citizen, a
member of the military or are
of financial assistance to keep the heat running
this winter, talk to a utility company
representative. They have a wealth of
information on groups and organizations who are
ready to step in and help. Also, agencies like
The National Energy Assistance Referral hotline
email@example.com) and LIHEAP (Low
Income Home Energy Assistance
Program-1-800-252-8643 or 217-785-6135) can be
very helpful to lower-income families searching
for help to pay their utility bills.
the heat settings from 72 to 67 degrees
during the day and down to 55 degrees at night.
According to the US Department of Energy, this
can trim the heating bills a hefty 10-20 percent.
get free directory assistance from your
phone by calling 1-800-GOOG-411
(1-800-466-4411). I played with this a little
and it is really easy to use and fast. It has
one big downside, it doesn't have residential
listings. For those, you can use 1-800-FREE-411
(1-800-373-3411). With this service, you have
to listen to a couple ads, but there is no
charge for the call. Unlike the Google service,
I had a hard time searching by business category
for my local area with this one. It kept trying
to give me suggestions that were farther away,
but that they obviously were paid to list.
Also, unlike the Google service, it is not
entirely voice driven so it doesn't work for
hands free operation.
your shower heads to "Low Flow" shower heads.
These heads use approximately 40% less hot
water, but provide excellent water pressure. Two
people could save up to $150/yr on energy to
heat the water. And it is a simple
do-it-yourself fix. It can be done for less than
$10, and 5 minutes of your time. Don't forget to
buy that little roll of teflon tape, or a tube
of joint "stuff", for the threads. After I did
it without the tape or "stuff", there was some
leaking at the joint.
a high efficiency toilet. Most new
toilets flush with
gallons of water, and older toilets use a
lot more than that. High efficiency toilets
less. This scares some people because
they think less water will give a less powerful
flush. However, new high efficiency toilets that
carry the EPA "Water Sense" label have been
tested and certified to deliver a strong flush
with less water. Although toilets all look
pretty much alike, the amount of water released
by flushing varies widely from one toilet to
another. Generally speaking, the older the
toilet, the more water it uses.
built before 1982 use 5 to 7 gallons per flush.
Now, toilets are designed to flush using only
1.6 gallons of water
Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits.
easily conduct a home energy audit yourself.
simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot
many problems in any type of house. When
auditing your home, keep a checklist of areas
you have inspected and problems you found. This
list will help you prioritize your energy
efficiency upgrades. U.S. Dept of Energy
ways to save water and energy to heat water:
Wash and Rinse. Showers are big water guzzlers.
To economize, don’t run the water any longer
than you need to. Instead, after you wet your
body turn off the water. Don’t turn it on again
until your done washing and are ready to rinse.
2) Wash Dishes the Frugal Way. First soak
the dishes for about 10 minutes. Then scrub and
stack on the side. When a small stack is ready
to be rinsed, turn on the water and quickly run
them through. Be careful not to let the dishes
sit so long that the soap begins to harden.
3) Purchase Water Saving Appliances. The
next time you’re in the market for a new washing
machine or dishwasher, be sure to check out the
water saving models. We did this with our
washing machine and now we save substantial
amounts in our monthly utility bills.
4) Never Let The Water Run. Whether
you’re washing your hands, brushing your teeth,
or mopping the kitchen floor, be sure not to let
the faucet stay on.
5) No More Drips and Runs. A dripping
sink and running toilet wastes water fast. Don’t
procrastinate. Get them fixed right away.
Thanks to Jill J., PA
Stumped on that Christmas or birthday gift for a
Senior? Some utility companies now offer gift
certificates. In this day of rapidly rising heat
and light costs, this would be a valuable gift.
contractors sell and install only air
conditioning OR heating systems.
estimates for the system you need IN THE
OFF-SEASON, and you may get a deal.
Heating contractors are busy in the winter, so
wait for spring to call them. The reverse is
true of air conditioning contractors. You could
save $800-$1500 on a system by doing it this
units built during the 1960s or earlier have low
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
Gas-fired furnaces and boilers can have AFUEs as
low as 60 percent; oil-fired units can be around
65 percent. If you think in terms of dollars, I
translate this to mean that for every dollar of
fuel being burned, only 60 to 65 cents is used
for heat. The remaining
30 to 35
cents goes up the chimney or is vented
from the house as exhaust. Only in the late
1980s and early 1990s did the minimum AFUE on
gas- and oil-fired systems change considerably.
Today, minimum AFUEs are 78 for fossil-fueled
warm-air furnaces and 80 for fossil-fueled
When building or shopping for a new house,
attention to the overhangs. Those are the roof
extensions that exceed the main body of the
house. Summer shading of windows can be
accomplished, and exposure in winter will allow
warm sunshine to enter.
In summer the house is
cooler, requiring less air conditioning, and in
the winter the sun enters and saves on heat.
Click this example of how it works to see a
larger illustration. I have 3' overhangs
on all sides of my house, and the result
75. According to
the US Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy
most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss
from a warm room up to 10 percent when
drawn during cold weather. Their site states,
"To reduce heat exchange or convection,
draperies should be hung as close to windows as
possible. Also let them fall onto a windowsill
or floor. For maximum effectiveness, you should
install a cornice at the top of a drapery or
place the drapery against the ceiling. Then seal
the drapery at both sides and overlap it in the
center. You can use Velcro or magnetic tape to
attach drapes to the wall at the sides and
If you do these things, you may reduce heat loss
up to 25 percent."
76. This is my 2nd
year in a row of lowering both my electricity
and natural gas bills, despite natural gas
prices substantially rising in Colorado. Here's
what I did:
windows - almost $11k, old wood ones were
rotting, so I didn't have a choice. There is
(was?) a federal tax deduction of a couple
hundred bucks for this. Weather stripping around
doors where I could see light shining through,
including all outside doors.
Insulating around outlets. You can buy a
10-pack of foam outlet insulation things for
about $1.50. Buying a
drying rack. In a state with practically
no humidity, why not? It even makes the house
feel more comfortable with the humidity.
This is something I never thought I would do--
hand wash my clothes. But when we moved into an
apartment without a washer and dryer, costs
quickly were adding up to do our laundry at the
apt. machines. At a $1.45 per wash and then
another 1.45 per dryer load and doing anywhere
from 3-5 loads a week, we were spending from
$9-15 a week on laundry, which turned into the
lovely amount of $36-60 a month! In order to
save money, we found this amazing little hand
washing machine. It costs $43 at
http://www.laundry-alternative.com/ and is
great! You put in your water, your detergent,
then your clothes, turn the crank for 2 min. to
wash, drain the water, then rinse, and voila!
clean clothes! Here are the advantages as listed
on the website: -Washes a
5-lb. load super clean in just a couple of
minutes. -Has a patented pressure system that
forces detergent into the fabric at high speed
for a fast, efficient, economic and very easy
wash -Is ideal for campers, single persons and
even for the housewife with small frequent loads
like hand washables and diapers. -Is ideal for
delicates such as woolens, silks, knitted
dresses and cashmere garments. -Uses 90% less
water and detergent than conventional washing
machines. -Uses far less water than even hand
78. Read carefully
those little notices stuffed in with your gas
and electric bills. A major shift is taking
place with many companies in 2008 with how they
charge for energy. In the past, many rates
dropped as you used more of their energy in any
given month. But now, utility companies are
charging, or thinking of
charging, more per unit of energy as you use
more. The need for conservation takes on
yet another value for seniors.
79. A utility
company representative recently stressed
efficiency is not just about saving the
environment, it is about saving money.
Energy-efficient appliances can quickly pay for
themselves in energy savings. Refrigerators,
freezers and washers and dryers have all made
significant technological strides in efficiency.
And while window companies often stress the
energy savings of installing new windows, a new
HVAC unit might make more sense.
"You could spend $20,000 on new windows and save
maybe $100 a year," said Curt Atkins of Waverly
Light and Power. "But if you spend $6,000 to
$7,000 on a new HVAC unit, you could easily save
$500 to $600 per year."
80. For directions
to build a solar oven visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_oven
81. Is this a sign
of the times?
ROCKVILLE, Md. --
If you don't already, start hanging onto those
monthly utility bills. You may need them to sell
your house. Montgomery County
passed a raft of so-called "green" legislation.
sellers will have to show home buyers how much
they may end up paying to heat and cool the
property. Builders will have to build
homes that meet Energy Star efficiency
standards, something builders say will cost more
In the long run, Council member Roger Berliner
says the changes will save consumers money.
82. The U.S.
Department of Energy, (DOE) has launched an
interactive internet site to help consumers
make the daily choices necessary to save money
on utilities. If the interactive picture does
not appear on your screen, scroll to the bottom
of the page and click "text version".
Did you know that roughly
percent of a home's water consumption takes
place in the
according to the California Urban Water
Conservation Council? The largest culprit is the
toilet, which accounts for 27 percent of your
household supply every year. By installing
low-flow toilets, showerheads and faucets, you
can save thousands of gallons of water each
year. In addition, replace leaky fixtures. That
slow-dripping faucet can waste as much as 2,400
gallons of water per year. (click picture to
84. Nine quick
keeping your house cool this summer, and
saving money in the process. Tips are from
85. SeniorArk came
across a site offering
waterless toilets. called the "envirolet".
SeniorArk knows nothing about it, so
86. Did you know
you can install a natural gas central air
conditioning system. Makers claim that you may
spend only 1/3 as much as you are spending on
electric central air. These are available in
small-size, packaged cooling units suitable for
single-family homes, condominiums and
townhouses. Using a process known as absorption
chilling, these air conditioners replace
ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by
using water and an environmentally safe solution
for cooling. Improved efficiency is achieved by
capturing and reusing the heat that is released
during the absorption process. Here are some
sites for more information:
We are having a lot of trouble finding a source
for these units, but we know they are available.
Kiplinger's list of the
best 15 things you can do today to save money on
your utilities, Includes a link to a
Kiplinger slide-show and the complete story.
88. Google.org is
looking to help out with your electric bills.
The search giant's charitable wing has announced
PowerMeter, an app designed to help users
track their home electricity usage.
89. I just discovered a site that may soon be
very useful in providing information on how to
save money on utilities.
Things you may not know you can do with your
glass/ceramic pans in the oven. Glass and
ceramic heat faster than metal pans which means,
according to the American Council for Energy
Efficiency, that you can cook your meals at a
temperature 25 degrees lower in the same amount
of time. G.J. Tulsa, OK
refrigerator on the right temperature.
The optimal temperature for your refrigerator is
37 to 40 degrees. Anything colder than that will
not keep you food longer, and in fact may damage
it by freezing.
Did you know that a
refrigerator is more energy-efficient
than a sparsely filled one? If you fill milk
jugs with water and place at the back of your
refrigerator shelves, they will retain the cold,
and cause you refrigerator to run less often.
The same is true of the freezer, where you could
add water to expandable plastic jugs,
leaving a little air inside for expansion. Or
extra meat and vegetables can be added to fill
the space. Air spills quickly from your cold
areas when doors are open, requiring frequent
wastes 95% of the heat produced. It is
far more energy-efficient to use your cooktop,
microwave, toaster oven, or slow-cooker. This is
less important in cooler areas where escaped
heat is useful in heating the home as well.
Seniors are waiting for your tip here.
Or submit a
useful link for a links section.