Here is an article I thought would be of interest to our readers! As homeowners and/or renters we are constantly trying to find ways to conserve energy, right? You may have considered several options that make you feel at ease when it comes to saving money and burning less electricity, yet you question why you still have not seen a decrease in your electricity bill!

Four things that waste money and energy more than you think:

Trying to cut back on energy costs? Your “money-saving” tricks may actually be costing you more in long haul.

Myth: Programmable Thermostats Save You Money
Well, they do, but only if you program them to do so. Many people mistakenly believe that these computer-chip, electronic devices will automatically set themselves to operate in the most energy-efficient way. But they don’t. You have to program them so that they stop your ducted air conditioning coming on when it isn’t really needed – at night or when you’re at work or on holiday. So read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and learn how to set your thermostat to suit your particular needs – lowering it by just 1°C can reduce your bill by up to 15 percent.

Myth: Fans Cool a Room
Fans do not actually cool the air in a room, they cool the people in it by creating a wind-chill effect on their skin. So there is no point leaving a fan on when you’re no longer in a room. Instead, treat it like a light and turn it off when you leave the room. Otherwise, you will just be wasting electricity and running up a large bill.

Myth: Computer Screensavers Save Energy
All a screensaver does is prolong the life of your monitor by displaying a moving image while you are not using your computer, as any fixed image left on would eventually “burn” itself into the screen, ruining it. Screensavers do nothing whatsoever to save electricity – in fact, they burn up quite a lot. If you want to save energy, without turning your computer off, check if it has a special energy-saving mode: go to your operating system’s control panel or preferences and explore the power-management options available.

Myth: Stand-By Costs Less Than Turning On and Off
This is certainly not true. Leaving a machine constantly in stand-by mode consumes a surprisingly large amount of electricity. If you want to save energy – and money – you should always turn your computer off at night or when you will be away from it for a long period of time. Remember also to switch off other computer hardware, such as scanners, printers and external hard drives and speakers at the mains. If they are powered via a plugged-in transformer, that will remain on even when the power button on the appliance has been switched off.

Article courtesy of Reader’s Digest and Zillow.

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ConnecitcutPlus.com had recently posted an article stating, Governor Jodi Rell announced that Connecticut used nearly $40 million in federal stimulus funds for state energy programs, helping reduce utility costs for thousands of homeowners and assisting homes and businesses in becoming more energy-efficient.

The post:

State energy plan cutting utility costs for thousands of homes

By Governor Rell’s office

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that Connecticut’s use of nearly $40 million in federal stimulus funds for state energy programs is helping reduce utility costs for thousands of homeowners, has made numerous state and commercial buildings more efficient, trained scores of building managers on energy-efficient operations and advanced the installation and practical use of renewal energy systems.

“These funds have allowed us to continue our progress in alternative and renewable energy technology, expand current programs for homeowners and businesses and help create jobs essential to emerging energy industries,” Governor Rell said.

The Governor said Connecticut’s broad-based energy plan, administered by the Office of Policy and Management, has been able to quickly put the stimulus funds back into the economy and this month drew high praise from the U.S. Energy Department (DOE). To date, more than 40 percent of the funds have been spent and most programs are fully operational.

“Connecticut is leading the way in the efforts of the U.S. State Energy Program,” DOE officials said in a letter of commendation. “Together we are making a tremendous down payment on a new clean energy economy.”

Accomplished to date by the State Energy Program:

· Completed over 12,400 home energy audits/house sealing through the Home Energy Solutions program. Estimated annual savings exceed $4M. This includes primarily electricity (11.6 million kilowatt hours) and fuel oil (700,000 gallons) but also includes propane and natural gas.

· Energy-savings projects at 12 state facilities, with nine completed to date and an estimated savings of $600,000 annually. Total are affected is more than 1.3 million square feet; and energy savings is anticipated to result in:

– Electricity savings of more than 3.5 million kilowatt hours;

– Oil savings of over 800 gallons; and

– Natural gas savings of about 18,300 ccf (hundred cubic feet)

· Through 9/30/10, installed 54 solar thermal systems, with an estimated savings of 10,500 gallons.

· Through 9/30/10, installed 27 geothermal systems amounting to 149 tons of capacity, with an estimated annual savings of almost 1.3 million kilowatt hours annually.

· Made energy efficiency improvements at 47 small commercial buildings to date resulting in oil savings of 22,400 gallons per year. Seven additional larger projects in process.

· Four Building Operator Certification (BOC) training courses were provided to 120 state and municipal personnel who manage buildings. This will help facility managers to operate their buildings more efficiently. Experience has demonstrated that personnel who have taken BOC training have significantly reduced energy and water usage in their buildings.

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