Save on Your Electric Bill

Your Electric BillTonight at 10, we’re showing you some of the improvements made to the Jones family’s home in Sugar Land. They won Gary Parr’s  Home Energy Savings Makeover Project.  Their home is 2 stories and 2800 square feet.  Their highest electric bill last year was $943!

Parr gathered businesses and contractors to donate their services and materials to the project. The goal is to cut the Jones electric bill by 50%.

If you’re deciding what project to do first, remember you can get a tax credit for certain energy efficiency home improvements.

What Qualifies

Through 2010, you can claim a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost up to $1500 for new qualified windows, doors, insulation, heating and cooling systems, and other energy-efficient home products.

Some specialty systems involving geothermal heating, solar energy, eind energy, and fuel cells qualify for credits with more generous allowances. There’s no $1500 cap, effective through 2016.  Tax credits cover installation costs for some but not all improvements.

But if you don’t have the money to buy a new AC, hot water heater or new windows… there are some other things you can do.

Close your Curtains

Block out the sun’s heat by drawing your window treatments on the south side of your house during the day.

Turn Up Your Thermostat

The recommended temperature setting for comfort and energy savings in an air-conditioned room is 78 degrees. Resist the urge to drop the temperature for a quick cool, which taxes your unit.

Schedule Heat-Producing Periods

Plan your use of the dishwasher, oven and dryer for early morning or evening rather than afternoon. To save energy and keep your kitchen cool at dinnertime, use your grill and microwave instead of the cooktop and oven as much as possible.

Clear Out Yard Waste

Prune shrubs and remove grass and leaves that block airflow around your central air-conditioner or heat pump unit.

Special thanks to “Better Homes & Gardens.” The above information was taken from the July 2009 publication.

Of course Gary Parr is an excellent source of information on all things “energy.” Tune into his show on KSEV 700AM every Saturday from 2 to 4pm. You can also check out the “Gary on the Air” website for more energy saving tips and the Makeover Project.

The following organizations also have good tips:

U.S. Department of Energy

Federal Trade Commission

Google Power Meter

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