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Invest in energy efficiency Make energy savings your resolution this year


popular New Year’s resolution is to save money, and while many financial professionals may recom- mend a more diverse investment portfolio or debt reduction, a great way to keep your resolution to save money is to simply save energy.


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Not only does saving money on energy bills provide homeowners a great return on your most valuable invest- ment—your home—it also increases the comfort of your home. You can earn as much as a 20% return on invest- ment, compared to a savings account, which may yield a half percent, or a certificate of deposit that may bring a 4-5% rate of return. With an investment in


home energy efficiency, you also avoid the impact of rising costs. For example, a $2,000 investment that results in a 10% reduction of your


monthly energy bill of $180, would be 10% x $180 and $18 per month. Further $18 x 12 equals $216 per year. There- fore, a $216 savings from a $2,000 investment equals a 10.8% return on your money. You can’t get that return on investment from a financial instituion or the stock market. Here are five easy ways to get the New Year off to an energy-efficient start:


Even the closet counts M


AKE sure you’re only heating the spaces in your home that need heat this winter. Keep closet and cabinet doors closed to prevent heating (or cooling) space you don’t use. Clothes or stored items generally do not need to be heated or cooled.


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 Install a programmable thermostat and turn it back by 10-15 degrees when you are sleeping or not at home. Even a few hours can make a difference. This can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills. When the weather is cooler, set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. Every degree above 68 can add 3-5% to the heating portion of your power bill.


 Replace your standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and save about $30 in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime. CFLs use 75 percent less energy. If you live in a 2000 square-foot home, in a year’s time, you could save 1500 kWh and $200. These bulbs can last 3-5 years.  Keep your hot water heater at 120 degrees and install a hot water heater insulating blanket. These two


tips can save 5-10% in water heating energy cost.  Turn it off. Whether it’s shutting off lights, or powering down your computer when it isn’t in use, these small efforts can save you big energy dollars over time. Whenever possible, completely unplug electronics, gadgets and chargers.  Clean or replace air conditioning filters each month. This helps the unit run more efficiently.  Cool your home not your attic. Contact your local heat and air professional for duct inspection. A trained professional will seal leaks in your ductwork and help you lower your overall energy consumption. Healthy ductwork can save 10-30% on heating and cooling costs.  Let an energy efficiency expert show you how to


save energy and money with a free home energy audit. A home energy auditor will inspect your home and identify areas where you can save valuable energy. Customers who follow the auditor’s recommendations can benefit from substantial savings on energy costs.  Start saving today. Learn more about energy effi- ciency by visiting www.neelectric.com. Call 1-800-256- 6405 ext. 9392 to schedule a free home energy audit.


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