Well, I am sure that you have been roasting this summer. Our climate has been undergoing change in the last few years. We’ve had hotter summer months, cooler winter months, and more storms. So let’s pay attention to ways to save energy – and get prepared for the cool months to come.
1. Let’s start with the US Department of Energy’s Home Energy Saver website. (This is created and run for them by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.)
*** First enter your zip code
*** On the next page, do not bother entering your email or actual address. Just put in your city (or a nearby one), select the city with the most similar climate to yours, the year your house was built, and the number of users in the age category.
*** In the upper right corner, click on the tab marked CALCULATE – and wait until it calculates! (It takes a while.)
*** Then it gives you approximate energy costs, and costs that might happen if you make energy upgrades to reduce your costs. When I put in my information, it looked as though changes in my lighting and cooling would be a good place to start.
*** You can obtain much more accurate information if you click on Appliances & Equipment in the left QUICK INPUT box.
*** So play around with this for a while to figure out where you can possibly save.
2. Next, take a look at the Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) website. This is a great place to play!
*** You are looking at Section 1 of the PSNH Energy Evaluator. Click the appropriate item in each area. For instance, if your water heater runs by electricity, click on Electric, and the dial needle will move there. If you have a programmable thermostat, click on Yes. When you have finished, click on Next Section in the green box at the bottom.
*** Complete all three sections, and then take a look at the Results, which gives you a potential savings dollar figure.
*** Click on the Go button, next to GET YOUR CUSTOMIZED LIST OF ENERGY SAVINGS TIPS. You can print out the list of suggestions.
Make sure you explore the rest of the PSNH website. For instance, you can get the Senior Circuit Newsletter. Click on Current Edition to get the PDF file. Unfortunately you cannot sign up to get it via email.
3. Unitil has both Electricity and Gas Efficiency Programs.
*** The Electricity website gives a list of appliance retailers that accept rebates when buying ENERGY STAR appliances. There is also a link to retailers that accept old compact fluorescent bulb in exchange for ENERGY STAR rated ones.
*** The Gas website also gives information about rebates.
4. New Hampshire Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a program to help people with very low incomes pay for heat.
***The utility company should help with application.
***But also try the local Community Action Agency Office near you, if you are eligible.
*** Or contact the Fuel Assistance Program Manager Celeste Lovett, 603-271-2155, firstname.lastname@example.org
End Note: Each one of these websites has all kind of information, so it is well worth exploring all the links further. For instance, look at Unitil’s Energy Saving Tips or how about choosing the right tree to plant?