PLAINFIELD, Ind.-- Cinergy/PSI wants to help customers with managing and reducing their winter heating bills. Now that colder weather has arrived, it's a good time to perform some "no cost" and/or "low cost" energy-saving home projects. To get started, here are some energy conservation tips:
- Keep the cold out. Seal air leaks around doors and windows with caulking, weather stripping, or sheets of plastic. Air infiltration can account for one-half of heating costs in a home with leaks
- Clean or replace the furnace filter every month. Use the utility bill as a reminder.
- Set the thermostat back to the lowest possible setting that is comfortable for your family
BIG SAVINGS: Turning your thermostat down two degrees cooler in your home could save about 6 percent on your heating cost A night setback of about 10 degrees, for example, could save another 10 percent on your heating cost.
- Open draperies and window shades on sunny days and keep them closed on cloudy or cold, windy days and at night
- Set water heater temperature at 120 degrees and insulate water heaters with insulation "blankets" in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines.
BIG SAVINGS: Insulating water heaters and turning down the unit's thermostat to 120 degrees can help save money Water-heating is typically a family's third-largest energy expense accounting for about 14 percent of the utility bill.
- Install water-flow restrictors in showerheads and faucets.
- Use cold-water wash for clothes and cold-water rinse for dishes
- Keep heat sources such as lamps away from the thermostat, and keep windows and doors located near the thermostat tightly closed
- If you have a heat pump, keep the outdoor unit clear of grass, leaves and other debris
- Keep your fireplace damper closed tightly when not in use. When in use, lower the thermostat setting to 50-55 degrees.
Long-Term Energy-Efficiency Improvements
- Insulate the attic and basement with the recommended levels of insulation
- Replace old, less efficient heating systems and appliances with high-efficiency models. When shopping, compare energy efficiency ratings and annual operating costs
- Install storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less expensive alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be temporarily fastened over doors and windows to prevent drafts and retain heat.
- If a home has ductwork in a cold area such as the garage or attic, seal the seams and joints in the ductwork with the highest quality duct tape, then insulate the ducts with fiberglass insulation
- Install an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.
- Look for the "Energy Star" logo on appliances and new homes. Energy Star-labeled appliances exceed existing federal efficiency standards, typically, by 13 to 20 percent, and as much as 110 percent for some appliances. Energy-Star homes are at least 30 percent more energy-efficient in heating, cooling and water heating than a comparable home built to the 1993 Model Energy Code (MEC), and 15 percent more efficient than the state energy code.
Programs To Help Manage Energy Bills
- Budget Billing-- With Budget Billing customers pay a consistent monthly amount based on their previous usage. This program takes the guesswork out of paying monthly energy bills and eliminates the fluctuations in bills from month to month
- Quick-e-Audii®-- This 10-minute energy audit is a quick way to discover if you could benefit from energy upgrades to your home. By answering just a few questions, several investments might be identified that could pay you back with significant savings
- Weatherization-- A program for income-eligible Cinergy/PSI customers to receive free home weatherization. The company has designated funds specifically for improving the energy efficiency of customers' homes and helping them reduce their monthly energy bills
- Home Energy House Call-- A free home-energy audit for Cinergy/PSI customers in Indiana. Homes are evaluated and customers are given a guide to help make their homes more energy efficient
To find out more about these programs or to enroll, customers can visit www.cinergv.com, select their local utility, and click on the "Take Control This Winter" icon Information is also available by calling 317-839-9611, or 1-800-521-2232 toll-free
Cinergy is the parent company of PSI Energy, Indiana's largest electric supplier serving more than 700,000 customers in portions of 69 of Indiana's 92 counties.