Let’s Save Energy This Winter

 

 

Photo provided by: energy.gov
Photo provided by: energy.gov
Kelly Rulison
Copy Editor

Every winter the electric bill goes up, mostly due to heating the home, and not everyone can afford to shell out extra bucks during the cold months. Here are some easy ways to save energy and money for this winter.

Having a cooler house can save you money. “Set your thermostat just a little bit lower. If you’re used to 72 degrees, try 70, and if that’s comfortable, try 68. And remember it doesn’t cost money or energy to put on a sweatshirt or blanket,” Director of Sustainability Nate Keener said.

You can let your house get warmer naturally by taking advantage of sunlight. Opening the curtains and having sunlight beam in will help warm sections of your house.

Although the sun goes down much earlier in the winter, open the drapes and use that sunlight for as long as possible for both lighting and heat,” Keener said

Another way to cut costs on your utility bill is switching out your light bulbs! Energy efficient light bulbs light-up gradually, and therefore use 25 percent to 80 percent less energy.

Dirt is the enemy of your furnace. It wastes fuel and considerably lowers your furnace’s efficiency. Money can be saved on heating costs and you can avoid expensive repairs in the future simply by keeping your furnace clean.

“Keep your furnace filter clean by changing it out at least once during the winter,” Keener said. “The college will look to do much of what I mentioned above, including the use of efficient holiday lights. Building automation gives college facilities personnel an easy way to regulate the temperatures in most buildings and offices.”

Keener continued: “They can control the temperature ‘set point’ on a room-by-room basis. The set point is similar to your thermostat at home, but it functions more like a smart thermostat for almost every room on campus. Facilities staff can set the temperature as well as the timing. So they can set the temperature at, say, 68 degrees for the hours when people are on campus. But they can then set the temperature much lower at, say, 60 degrees when people leave like at night and over the weekends.”

“Between 2013 and 2015, we saved $48,141 on energy. Absolutely some of those savings came from efficiency measures and the installation of renewable energy. But there may have been other factors at play – different behaviors by staff and students, different activities, different uses of buildings, weather, etc.,” Kenner said

For more information on saving energy for your household, contact Director of Sustainability Nate Keener at nkeener@lc.edu.

krulison@lc.edu
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