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safety and usage
 

No-Cost Ways to Save Money and Energy

  • About 14%1 of an average home energy bill goes just for heating water. Use cold water when washing clothes.
  • Take a five-minute shower instead of a bath to reduce hot water use.
  • Do only full loads when you use the clothes washer or dishwasher to avoid wasting hot water.
  • Check the temperature on your water heater. It should be set at "warm," or a thermometer held under running water should read no more than 120 degrees. If it's higher, lower the temperature on your water heater thermostat.
  • Keep radiators or heating vents clear of dirt and dust, and avoid blocking them with furniture.
  • Set your heating thermostat to 55° degrees or lower while you're away and also at bedtime.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use. Consider installing glass doors on the fireplace.
  • When cooking, keep the lids on pots or opt to use a microwave oven instead of a conventional range or oven.

 

Low-Cost Energy Saving Solutions

  • Install energy-saving, low-flow showerheads and sink aerators to reduce hot water use.
  • Have your heating system professionally serviced once per year. If you have a warm air heating system, check the furnace filter each month and clean or replace it as needed. Dirty filters block air flow through your heating equipment, increasing your energy bill and shortening the euipment's life.
  • Seal up your windows and doors with caulking and weatherstripping to ensure that you're not wasting energy on heat that escapes through leaks to the outdoors.
  • Install an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat and, though proper use, save about $180 each year;2 it adjusts the temperature automatically for you.
  • Install foam gaskets behind electric-outlet and switch-plate covers.
  • Duct tape works well on lots of things, but it often fails when used on ductwork! Use mastic (a gooey substance applied with a paintbrush) to seal all exposed ductwork joints in areas such as the attic, crawlspace, or basement. Insulate ducts to improve your heating system's efficiency and your own comfort.
  • In the winter, storm windows with a low-emmisivity (low-e) coating can save you 12% to 33% in heating anc cooling costs.3 As an alternative, you can improve your windows temporarily with inexpensive plastic sheeting installed on the inside.

 

Air Sealing

  • Warm air leaking out of your home during the winter wastes money and decreases comfort.  It's important to air seal before adding insulation. Your home may qualify for no-cost air sealing through the Berkshire Gas Mass Save® program. Call 1-800-944-3212 to learn more.

 

Insulation

  • The easiest and most cost-effective way to insulate your home is to add insulation in the attic. If you have less than R-22 (6 or 7 inches), you could probably benefit by adding more. Most U.S. homes should have between R-38 and R-49 attic insulation.
  • Properly installed insulation can reduce energy costs by up to 50% in older homes.
  • Insulating your walls will improve the comfort of your home and reduce your energy bills dramatically. Remember to insulate the walls or ceiling of your crawl space and/or basement.
  • Through the Mass Save Program, Berkshire Gas will pay 75% up to $2,000 on eligible insulation improvements that are recommended during a no-cost Home Energy Assessment. To get started, call 1-800-944-3212.

 

 

Improve Your Heating System

Up to half of your energy bill goes just for heating

  • Turn your heat down every night and whenever you leave home. Better yet - install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat and through proper use, save about $180 each year;5 it adjusts the temperature automatically for you.
  • Replace your hot water tank with the most efficient one possible. Consider an indirect water heater (an insulated storage tank that uses the heat from your boiler or furnace to heat the water) or a tankless, on-demand system (these won't work for everyone, so talk to your installer).
  • Replace your boiler or warm air furnace with the highest efficiency model possible. Changing out heating equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified models can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115.6

 

Improve Your Windows

  • If your home has only single pane windows, consider replacing them with ENERGY STAR windows.
  • Alternatively, low-e storm windows can save you 12% to 33% in heating and cooling costs.7
  • Check for drafts coming from doors and windows, then caulk and weather-strip them as necessary

Sources: Dept. of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and Alliance to Save Energy

 

Helpful Energy Efficiency Links

  • MassSave
    Mass Save is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providors which work closely to provide a wide range of services to help residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs.
  • GasNetworks
    GasNetworks is a nationally recognized and award-winning collaborative of natural gas companies serving nearly 2 million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout New England. It has been promoting energy efficiency and the use of high efficiency natural gas technologies since 1997. Berkshire Gas is a founding member of GasNetworks.
  • Energy Star
  • United States Department of Energy

1 https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_where_money
2 https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=thermostats.pr_thermostats_guidelines
3 http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-install-exterior-storm-windows-low-e-coating
4 http://epa.gov/region5/sustainable/energyadvice.html
5 https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=thermostats.pr_thermostats_guidelines
6 https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac
7 http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-install-exterior-storm-windows-low-e-coating
 

 

 

 

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