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Residential Energy Survey

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ask YVEA for a free residential energy survey. 

Numerous telephone calls are taken from consumers during the winter months related to the higher than normal charge for this month's electric bill. Electricity is one of the few things you use before you pay for it. When the bill arrives, the electricity has been used. If you bought more than you meant to, it's too late for YVEA to do anything about it. At that point, consumers believe the meter must be at fault! The truth is that YVEA finds very few meters to be faulty. Most meters tested show the meter to be running slightly slow. 

Electricity is constantly working for you by keeping your home warm, heating your water, lighting the darkness and providing you with entertainment on the TV and stereo. It's so convenient and so automatic that you forget where and when you use it. Reading your meter on a daily basis for two weeks will help you understand how and when you use electricity. Is your consumption the same every day, or are there days when it's much higher than average? On the days of higher consumption, what did you do differently, (i.e. wash and dry clothes, use an engine block heater etc.). 

If you are really serious about saving on electric energy?  YVEA's Kill-a-watt program can help you do just that.  The device is easy to use. Plug the kill-a-watt meter directly into the wall; then plug the electric appliance you wish to measure into the Kill-a-watt. The display then shows how much energy it is using and the projected cost to operate. YVEA will purchase a number of small devices that measure the specific energy use of standard two and three-prong appliances. Typical uses would include testing several different devices in your home to see which could be contributing to the higher than expected usage or you can experiment with use patterns to find ways to reduce your electric use. 

It is easy to draw a wrong conclusion if you're comparing your bill with your neighbor's bill. Even if your home is smaller, your electric bill maybe higher due to your appliances and lifestyle. 

The top 10 ways to save your energy dollars this winter are:

  • Add insulation to ceilings, walls and heating ducts.  You can slash heating costs by 25% with proper insulation levels.
  • Wrap your water heater in an insulation jacket and lower the water heater setting to 110 degrees.
  • Turn the thermostat down.  You cut heating costs by 3% for every degree you lower the thermostat.
  • Install storm doors and windows and close the damper on fireplaces.
  • Use ceiling fans to push warm air down into the living space.  Fans should turn counter-clockwise in the winter and clockwise in the summer.
  • Insulate and seal windows with plastic or vinyl sheeting.
  • Caulk small gaps and weather-strip around doors and windows.
  • Use a timer on your car's engine block heater
  • Install draft blockers or insulating gaskets around electric outlets
  • Open draperies on sunny days, and close them at night and make sure to maintain proper humidity levels in the home.
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