As Heating & Lighting Season Arrives, UI, SCG & CNG Encourage Customers To Seek Energy Savings at Home
ORANGE, CT — Nov. 2, 2016 — As the nights grow longer and the days grow colder, AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) and its Connecticut companies are offering tips to help customers tamp down their lighting and heating costs.
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. this Sunday, Nov. 6, and daylight will continue to dwindle in the weeks ahead. Before winter arrives in its full fury, it’s an ideal time for customers to assess home energy use and find ways to save on lighting and heating costs, according to officials at AVANGRID and its subsidiaries, United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas.
A good first step is installing ENERGY STAR®-certified LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs inside and outside the home, according to Patrick McDonnell, senior director of conservation and load management, technical and program support services for AVANGRID’s Connecticut companies. ENERGY STAR LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs, he said.
“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,” McDonnell said. “LEDs use less energy, help save money on energy bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.”
ENERGY STAR LED bulbs come in different styles, colors and brightness levels to suit a wide variety of specific locations and needs, including flood lights, walkway fixtures, lamp posts lighting and other decorative and ornamental lights for the holidays, he added. McDonnell added that products with the Energize Connecticut label are also discounted at the point of sale, making smart energy choice more affordable.
Lighting is just one area where many customers can reduce energy use. Customers can also schedule a home energy “checkup” through Home Energy Solutions (SM). 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.
Here are additional tips for reducing energy costs during the fall and winter months.
Have your furnace burner checked and cleaned annually.
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.
Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree above 68º F can add 3 percent to the amount of energy needed for heating.
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.
Use passive solar heating on sunny days. Open drapes on south-facing windows when it’s sunny. At night, close drapes to retain heat.
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.
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.
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.
Install wall outlet and switch plate insulation gaskets on exterior walls.
Don’t forget: Replace the 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.
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AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with more than $30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states. The company operates regulated utilities and electricity generation through two primary lines of business. Avangrid Networks includes eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.1 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates 6.3 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, in states across the United States. AVANGRID employs 7,000 people. The company was formed by a merger between Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation in 2015. IBERDROLA S.A. (Madrid: IBE), a worldwide leader in the energy industry, owns 81.5% of AVANGRID. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.