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OT cabin fever this winter? Spend time making your home more energy efficient and start saving for your summer vacation. You can trim your electric bill all year long by taking a few simple steps. Here are recommendations for year-round energy and money savings:


A year of savings, one month at a time G


months. Keeping your thermostat set between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit can save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills.


January: Lowering your thermostat just a few degrees during winter months can save as much as $85 per year. Programmable thermostats make it easy to save by offering pre-programmed settings to regulate a home’s temperature throughout the year.


February: Adjust your water heater. Turning down the temperature gauge to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit can heat up your savings.


March: Stop air from escaping your home and money from escaping your wallet! Pay a visit to your home’s attic or crawlspace and seal those leaky ducts.


April: A little caulk can go a long way. Air leaks in your home add up. Caulking cracks and openings to the outside could save more than $200 a year.


May: Make sure your refrigerator is on your spring cleaning to-do list. Throw out expired items, clean the refrigerator inside and out (including coils) and check the temperature gauge. For maximum operating efficiency, a refrigerator’s temperature should be between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


June: When was the last time you changed a filter? Replacing furnace and air conditioner filters regularly can have a big impact on a home’s energy use. Dirty filters can restrict air flow and reduce the overall efficiency of your cooling system, forcing it to work harder on hot summer days.


July: Your home’s cooling costs can skyrocket—right along with the temperature outside—during summer


August: Heading out of town on vacation? Be sure to unplug all of your electronic devices like computers, monitor, printers, TV and cable boxes, DVD players, and microwaves. Electronics with digital displays and instant- on features consume energy even if they’re not in use.


September: Be a “fan-atic.”While they don’t replace an air conditioner or a heat pump, fans move the air so everyone feels more comfortable. On a milder day, a fan is a much more energy-efficient choice than cranking up the air conditioning. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.


October: Get ready for winter by insulating your attic. Adding nine or more inches of insulation could save you more than $150 a year.


November: As the weather cools down, pull up your window shades. Keeping blinds open during the day


lets heat from sunlight in, reducing the need to turn up your home’s thermostat.


December: Put a new ENERGY STAR appliance at the top of your Christmas wish list. Upgrading appliances like washing machines to ENERGY STAR-rated models can save up to $140 per year.


For more information, visit togetherwesave.com, an online portal to energy efficiency that uses real dollar savings projections—based on your individual electric rate and climate zone—to motivate small changes in behavior that add up to big savings. Once you arrive at the site, enter your ZIP code to be redirected to your customized section. You can watch videos that provide detailed instructions about energy savings practices, add up your potential savings with a Virtual Home Tour, and much more.


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