My furnace kicked on the other day, and it made me shudder to think about the high cost of keeping warm during the winter. We use an adjustable thermostat control that keeps the house cooler at night and that kicks on to a higher temp right before we get up in the morning, which saves us considerable money during the cold months. During the day, we bundle up to stay warm indoors, rather than using the thermostat. I try to keep appliances, etc. unplugged when not in use, which also saves money. We cover windows in plastic like this, which works pretty good to insulate our 100-year-old alley house. And finally, I enrolled in Xcel's Averaged Monthly Payment program, which spreads your heating and cooling costs over the entire year so that your bill is more predictable.
Find out info on Xcel's Average Monthly Payment program here.
Also, Colorado LEAP starts on November 1st. LEAP is an energy assistance program for people with very low incomes and provides payments directly to your electric company during the high use months.
If you are seeking help between May 1 and October 31, or if you do not qualify for federal assistance under the LEAP program or have already received LEAP and need help again, then you can seek help directly from Energy Outreach Colorado on a year-round basis. To qualify for their funds, you must owe a past-due balance on your utility bill.
To read about rebates, weatherization and appliance replacement programs offered through the Colorado Governor's Energy Office, click here.
In the meantime, here are some no-cost energy saving tips:
Use an adjustable thermostsat and keep it low at night. Or turn down your thermostat at night and when you are away from home.
Keep all furnace ducts clear of obstructions
Check the furnace filter once a month when you get your utility bill
Turn down the water heater temp to 125 degrees
Take shorter showers instead of baths
Use cold water for laundry when possible
Do full loads of laundry and dishes, use energy-saving cycles, air dry dishes