Rather than watching your home heating and energy costs continue to climb, consider one or more of the following five great ways to slash your bills.
Massachusetts residents spend about $2,500 a year on energy — that’s 22 percent more than the U.S. average according to the state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration statistics. And if you’re a heating oil or propane user, you’re likely spending substantially more, due to the higher costs of these energy sources.
To help you ease the financial burden of high heating costs, we've come up with the following list of money savings tips:
1. Get a free home energy assessment
Mass Save offers a no-cost Home Energy Assessment that will assess your home’s current energy use, provide a custom list of energy-saving recommendations and help you develop a plan to make your home more efficient. The process typically takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours. For more information, visit the Home Energy Assessment on the Mass Save website or call 1-866-527-SAVE (7283).
2. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat
Tired of heating or cooling your home while away or constantly adjusting your thermostat when home? For less than $60, you can upgrade to a new, programmable thermostat and save on average about $180 each year in energy costs.* Your local heating contractor can install a new thermostat or, if you’re handy with a few tools, do-it-yourself installation typically takes under 30 minutes. Just follow the thermostat manufacturer’s directions for installing and/or programming.
3. Set your thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer
A new programmable thermostat won’t provide much savings if you don’t take advantage of its adjustable setting features. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5 percent to 15 percent a year on your heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s a savings of as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
4. Convert to a new or more efficient energy source
If you’re a Massachusetts resident heating with oil or propane, you could save about $1,500 to $2,500 a year in energy costs by switching to natural gas heat, according to statistics from the state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. You’ll save too if you simply upgrade to a more efficient oil or propane heating system. While you’ll likely pay several thousand dollars to install a new heating system, you may be able to recoup your installation costs in energy savings in as little as two heating seasons. Check Mass Save for information on new heating appliance rebates and incentives.
5. Install more energy-efficient windows
Many older homes lose heat through outdated windows. New England residents who upgrade from single-pane to ENERGY STAR-qualified windows can save an average of $465 annually in energy costs. For more information on replacement window options, visit Efficient Windows Collaborative .
*The $180 savings assumes a typical, single-family home with a 10 hour daytime setback of 8° F in winter and setup of 7° F in summer, and an 8 hour nighttime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 4° F in summer.