As end to daylight-saving time approaches, Connecticut energy companies offer money saving tips
Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday and as daylight will continue to dwindle in the weeks ahead, AVANGRID, Inc. and its Connecticut companies, United Illuminating Co., Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, are offering tips to help customers tamp down their lighting and heating costs.
For instance, the company said in a release, “it’s an ideal time for customers to assess home energy use and find ways to save on lighting and heating costs.”
“A good first step is installing ENERGY STAR®-certified LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs inside and outside the home,” Patrick McDonnell, senior director of conservation and load management, technical and program support services for AVANGRID’s Connecticut companies, said in the release. “ENERGY STAR LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.”
“With longer nights and less direct sunlight, swapping out old incandescent bulbs with highly efficient ENERGY STAR-certified LEDs is a smart way to lower your home’s energy profile,” he said. “LEDs use less energy, help save money on energy bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.”
Here are more tips for reducing energy costs during the fall and winter months, as provided by the company.
1. Have your furnace burner checked and cleaned annually.
2. Use a programmable thermostat and set it to keep you warm while you’re home, but save money when you’re away or asleep. A programmable thermostat can cost $25 to $200, and it could cut your heating and cooling costs up to 30 percent. A rebate for wi-fi-enabled thermostats is available through Home Energy Solutions programs.
3. Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree above 68 degrees can add 3 percent to the amount of energy needed for heating.
4. Close drapes to provide insulation where windows receive no direct sunlight. Up to 15 percent of a home’s heat can escape through unprotected windows.
5. Use passive solar heating on sunny days. Open drapes on south-facing windows when it’s sunny. At night, close drapes to retain heat.
6. If you have a simple open masonry fireplace, replace your fire screen with glass doors and a convective grate to reduce the loss of warm air.
7. Fireplaces should have tight-fitting dampers that can be closed when not in use. A chimney can draw out as much as 25 percent of the heated air in your house if the damper is left open.
8. Weather-strip and caulk around all entrance doors and windows to limit air leaks that could account for 15 to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy needs.
9. Install wall outlet and switch plate insulation gaskets on exterior walls.
10. Look for the Energize Connecticut label on products, as they are also discounted at the point of sale, making smart energy choice more affordable, according to McDonnell.
Don’t forget: Replace batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change the clocks in November and March, and test them monthly.
For more information on energy-saving programs and services provided through the Energize Connecticut initiative, call 1-877-WISE-USE or visit EnergizeCT.com. Customers can schedule a home energy “checkup” through Home Energy SolutionsSM. “The program is offered through Energize Connecticut and administered by UI, SCG and CNG. Customers can receive about $1,000 worth of on-the-spot improvements when they make a $124 co-payment, waived for income-eligible customers. They’ll also get guidance on next steps and information about rebates for insulation, windows, efficient appliances and more,” the release said.