Energy Hero Tip of the Month
Trim your holiday energy costs by choosing energy efficient LED lights this holiday season
LED Holiday Lights:
- Are more energy efficient. They consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Last longer. LED’s last approximately 50,000 hours. Compared to 1,000 hours for standard bulbs.
- Are safer. LED lights remain cool to the touch even when on for hours. In contrast, traditional holiday lights become hot to the touch after they’ve been lit for several hours. This may lead to a risk of house fires.
- Remember to limit the number of connected strings to the manufacturer’s recommendations and do not overload your outlets.
- Never install lights with broken bulbs.
- Use the right ladder for the job.
- Make sure the bulbs you use are UL listed. Outdoor bulbs must be rated for external use.
- Use the correct extension cords.
Remember to visit the YVEA.com website for more energy saving ideas.
Smart thermostats are now available for line voltage electric heating
Check out the Mysa smart thermostat to see how much you can save.
A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance and savings.
- Set your schedule: Smart thermostats aim to learn your schedule, but you can help it out by setting your schedule via its interface or web app. Over the next week or so, you and your new thermostat will work together to create the right program for your home.
- Start Saving: The Department of Energy estimates savings of about 1 percent for each degree of thermostat adjustment per 8 hours and recommends turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day to achieve annual savings of up to 10%.
- Go low: Smart thermostats steer you towards energy efficient temperatures, but you can save even more money by finding ways to keep yourself warm while the house stays cooler. Bundle up and enjoy the savings!
- Adjust your temperature: When you’re not following your typical weekly schedule, remember to adjust your temperature accordingly via the companion app.
- Use the companion app and web portal: The app is an extension of your thermostat! Use it to lower the temp when you step out for a few hours of errands or coming home later than your usual schedule.
- Set up vacations: Use the vacation feature on smart thermostats to easily lower the heat while you’re away. (Be careful – if frozen pipes are a risk in your area, keep your “away” temperature around 55 degrees).
- Analyze your energy use: Look at the monthly reports to see how you did. Try to beat your previous month – and other users in your area!
A limited number of free energy assessments for small businesses or nonprofit facilities in Routt and Moffat counties are now available through grant funding awarded to the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
The free program targets businesses or agencies housed in buildings up to 10,000 square feet and that need financial assistance to lower energy bills and improve building comfort. A local certified energy assessor will audit the building and install a limited number of needed quick fix items, such as LED bulbs, door air sealing or a programmable thermostat.
This offering is made possible through a grant from the Sustainability Unit at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The energy assessment service is also available to other Yampa Valley small businesses, nonprofit organizations and small commercial buildings for a reasonable fee.
For questions, contact YVSC at Suzie@yvsc.org or call 970-871-9299 ext. 104
Why should I care about my home’s Building Envelope?
Understanding your home’s Building Envelope is a critical component to controlling your energy costs.
It is the physical barrier that separates the unconditioned space from the conditioned space of your home. This barrier needs to be resistant to hot and cold air, moisture, light, and noise.
A properly defined and insulated Building Envelope is critical for your comfort and the energy efficiency of your home.
In today’s home building we strive to “build it tight and ventilate it right”. This method helps prevent your home’s heating and cooling systems from fighting the exterior temperature. It also reduces the “drafty” feeling in your home and lowers the chance of mold or mildew growth. A “tight” Building Envelope, with a well-designed ventilation system uses less energy and gives better control over your home’s temperature, air quality, and humidity levels.
YVEA’s Energy Hero Program has a series of DIY resources available on our website to help you identify and define your home’s unique Building Envelope. You can also contact Mike Beyer at 970.871.2267 for more information.
The area inside the red dotted line represents the space that is conditioned. A well-insulated home should be air sealed and have insulation around the exterior of all conditioned spaces.
Summer Energy Savings
While our YVEA service territory is known as an outdoor paradise with moderate temperatures and lots of sunshine, summers can get warm during the day. Stay cool and comfortable this summer with these no-cost and low-cost energy efficiency tips.
- Close blinds and drapes during the day to keep heat out.
- If you have air conditioning, set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home. Set it to a higher temperature when you are away.
- Turn off lights, ceiling fans and any portable fans when you leave a room.
- Plant trees and shrubs to shade the exterior of your home.
- Use solar lighting to brighten up your outdoor space. It’s low maintenance and uses the sun to generate electricity.
An electric water heater uses approximately 14 kWh hours per day.
That equals 405 kWh per month.
This equates to approximately $38 on your monthly electric bill.
Save energy and money by lowering your water heater thermostats to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will also slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes.
Consider insulating your water heater tank, which could reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent and save you about 4 to 9 percent in water heating costs. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $20.