City Connections
Volume 1, Issue 1
Jan./Feb. 2011
An e-newsletter from the City of Wilson

City of Wilson Vision Statement:  "Together, with a sense of pride, continuously building a world-class community that provides exciting opportunities for all to be good friends, good neighbors, good people." 

 

With City Connections, our goal is to provide information that supports this vision.  

In this first issue of the City Connections newsletter, we take a look at how we can save money by managing our energy consumption.  From simple behavioral changes to changes in our homes, we can make a difference!

In This Issue
C.H.O.O.S.E. to Take Charge of Your Energy Consumption
Low Cost/No Cost Home Energy Saving Tips
Look for Energy Star Labels on New Home Appliances
Home Weatherization
C.H.O.O.S.E. to Take Charge of Your Energy Consumption!
           thermostat setting               Have you ever left a light on in an empty room in your home for hours at a time?  Do you stand with the refrigerator door open while you stare into it for minutes at a time?  Have you ever had your heater or air conditioner running with several windows open that you forgot to close?  Are you a thermostat hog -- setting the thermostat very low in the summer and very high in the winter?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. 

Most of us have committed these and other energy wasting activities at some time without realizing their impact on our energy consumption.  When we do realize the impact, it's usually when we are holding our monthly utility bill in our hands and wondering why it's so high.


 

The good news is there are things we can do, from implementing simple behavioral changes to making physical changes in our homes, that can lower our energy consumption -- and as a result, our overall energy costs. 


 

The articles in this month's issue of City Connections provide some options you may want to try.  Links to additional information on this topic are also provided.

Whether you focus on simple behavioral changes for you and your family or decide to make physical changes in your home, the first step is to C.H.O.O.S.E. to take charge of your energy consumption!
Low Cost/No Cost Home Energy Saving Tips
 
cfl bulbYou do not have to wait until you can make major changes to your home to start saving energy.  There are some simple behavioral practices, as well as some low cost changes in your hame, that you can make right now.  Following are a few things you can do right away: 
      • Change your filters regularly.  Inspect them at least once a month to determine if you can still see light through them.  If not, change them.
      • Open curtains or blinds on the sunny side of your home during the day and close them at night.
      • Set your central unit fan to "auto" instead of "on" to save as much as $15/year.
      • Keep outside heating/cooling units clear and clean.
      • Caulk and weather strip doors and windows.
      • Set your thermostat 10-20 degrees lower at night durng the winter.   Set it no higher than 68 in winter and no lower than 72 in summer.
      • Set your air conditioner at a higher temperature and use a ceiling fan or portable fan with it.  Just remember, a fan won't cool an empty room so turn it off when you are not there.
      • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFL).
      • Do not leave lights on in unoccupied rooms. 
      • Install a programmable thermostat.
      • Turn off kitchen or exhaust fans when your air conditioner is running.
      • These and more energy saving tips can be found at the City of WIlson's website at www.wilsonnc.org, as well as on the NC state energy office website at www.energy.gov.
Look for Energy Star Labels on New Home Appliances
 
energy starNext to heating and air conditioning, large home appliances are a big energy drain.  When it's time to replace freezers, refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances, buy energy efficiency models.  Look for the Energy Star logo. Energy Star is the trusted government rating given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate energy efficiency.  

For more information about the Energy Star program, visit   http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_how_earn
Home Weatherization
                                                                                 
hot water heaterAnother way to make your home more energy efficient is to have it "weatherized."  When you weatherize your home, you make changes to your home's insulation, seals, windows, and other areas to prevent energy loss to the outside and/or to prevent air leaks from the outside.

In partnership with the City of Wilson, the Martin Community Action Weatherization program provides weatherization for homeowners who qualify.  The program, which serves five counties, including Wilson, is funded by federal stimulus dollars.  It provides free home assessments and weatherization upgrades for qualifying homes.  The average amount spent per home is approximately $6500, for upgrades that include items like sealing air leaks, replacing hot water heaters, installing insulation and replacing incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.  Studies have shown as much as a 30% improvement in home energy efficiency as a result of these measures.

More information about the Martin Community Action Weatherization Program, including learning if you qualify, is available by calling their  Wilson office at 252-206-0735.

                                       
C.H.O.O.S.E.!

Consumption

Habits

Offer

Options for

Saving

Energy!

1-2-3 SAVE!
 light switch off   
1. TURN IT OFF!
When you're done with a light, TV, stereo or anything that uses electricity, turn it off.

door2
2. KEEP IT CLOSED!
Close doors to your home, refrigerator, overn, etc.

3. BE WARM, NOT HOT;
BE COOL, NOT COLD!
Set temperature at 68 degrees or below in winter; 72 degrees or above in summer.

Free Home Energy Audits
Drafty windows and inadequate or missing insulation are examples of problems in your home that can cause utility bills to go up.  Wilson Energy offers free home energy audits to identify problems like these.  Or you may prefer the Energy Depot, an online tool that allows you to conduct a "Do It Yourself" home audit.  For more information about these audits and other energy saving tips, visit Wilson Energy's website or call 252-399-2415.
Helpful Links

www.energystar.gov


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