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New year resolutions

Make your new year a more energy efficient one

It is that time of year again — time to take down the holiday decorations, reflect on the past year, and set goals for the new year. Start this new year on the right foot by resolving to make energy efficient choices with these tips from Vera Water and Power.

Set a clear and achievable goal for yourself. Whether you aim to reduce your energy use by 5 percent, save $150 over last year, or compete with your neighbor for more efficient energy use — choose a goal that works for you.

If you are ready to take the next step in improving your home’s energy efficiency, contact a local home energy auditor. A home energy audit pinpoints exactly where your home is losing energy and what you can do to stop it, which can save you money on future energy bills. If you are more of a do-it-yourself type, you can conduct an energy audit yourself by making use of an online energy audit tool. Although this method is not as thorough as if done by a professional, it can still help you identify some of the easiest fixes and upgrades that can be done.

Once equipped with an understanding of how your home compares to similar homes and where your energy is going to waste, it is time to move past planning and get to the fun part: making energy efficient choices! Whether you choose a quick fix or a long-term investment, here are a few good starting points.

  • One of the most inexpensive energy efficient purchases is a power strip or smart strip. Televisions, computers, and even cell phone chargers continue to use electricity even when they’re off, but this can be prevented with the flip of a switch if the devices are plugged into a power strip.
  • From a light bulb to a refrigerator, upgrading outdated and inefficient appliances can help you save as well. Make the switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs, or better yet, EnergyStar rated appliances to put a serious dent in your energy use.
  • Weather-proofing your home can also reduce your annual energy use. This can include minor jobs, like installing weather stripping on doors and caulking around windows, or bigger jobs, like sealing air leaks and adding extra insulation in your attic.
  • Finally, check your furnace filter regularly and replace it if it is dirty. A clogged filter can slow the flow of air and reduce the efficiency and life of your furnace.
  • Check out our energy-efficiency rebates.

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