West Central Illinois residents use a lot of energy to heat and cool their homes, but there are ways to save money.
It’s cold here in the winter and hot in the summer, a mix that has us exceeding the national average of energy use by 44 percent. But the Citizens Utility Board is showing us where and how to save.
“CUB estimates that Illinois consumers could save up to $37 million per year thanks to energy efficiency programs offered by electric and natural gas utilities,” CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen said.
Those efficiency programs include rebates for buying a new, energy-efficient refrigerator, boiler or furnace, or even light bulbs.
But Chilsen says there are things you can do that cost little, such as buying a new furnace filter, closing doors to rooms you don’t use, and stopping drafts around windows and doors.
“You can do things like dialing down your thermostat,” says Chilsen. “You can cut your electric and natural gas bills by three percent for every degree you lower your thermostat. Things like lowering your blinds at night on a cold, winter night to keep the cold air out. And during the day raising them to let the sun heat the room.”
It’s estimated that for those who heat their homes with natural gas, the cost of heat this winter will go up 13 percent vs. last winter.
More energy-saving suggestions are at www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.