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admin 04.08.2015

That old refrigerator or freezer sitting around, collecting dust may be costing you more money than you think and wasting twice as much energy as newer, more efficient models.
UGI has partnered up with JACO Environmental to offer the Appliance Recycling Program, a unique program that benefits UGI Electric residential customers and the environment. Old, inefficient but working appliances can be hauled away for free by JACO and disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. An added bonus is that customers who partake in the program get $35 back in their pockets (maximum of 2 units per customer per address per year). Benjamin Kern, a resident of Trucksville, took advantage of the program because it was an easy way to get rid of his refrigerator and conserve energy. Shirley Smith of Dallas, who had a 1976 freezer that led to high electric bills, is also a supporter of recycling and said she tries to recycle whenever possible. Elaine Givens of Plymouth had her unused refrigerator from 1950 removed because she needed the space and the money. The Appliance Recycling Program at UGI will run from now through May 31, 2015, however customers are encouraged to apply as soon as they are able to in order to insure that program funding does not run out.
Supported by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, DOE’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program worked with 41 competitively selected state and local governments and their partners to leverage federal funds to launch or expand sustainable, community-based energy efficiency programs. Over the last four years, Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners have worked closely with contractors, utilities, nonprofits, and financial institutions. Through these efforts, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program supported more than $740 million in direct invoices to local workers for energy assessments and upgrades they performed over the course of the program.
The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance in Ohio implemented an equipment lease program providing contractors affordable access to the tools necessary to expand their services into home performance. In Portland, Oregon, Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) actively engaged contractors through regular meetings and encouraged their energy upgrades sales potential by providing free business support services. Efficiency Maine found sales training to be pivotal to contractor success, increasing the program’s assessment-to-upgrade ratio by 50% in six months. In Pennsylvania, the Fayette County Better Buildings Initiative worked with a local nonprofit in order to train the workforce necessary to reach new customers with energy upgrades.
More of these examples, lessons, and resources are being used to populate the new Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center. Now that the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program has completed its initial grant efforts, DOE has launched the Better Buildings Residential Network to support continued public-private partnerships on residential energy efficiency.

Danielle Sass Byrnett is the supervisor of the Better Buildings Residential programs, which work with residential energy efficiency programs and their partners to improve homeowners' lives, the economy, and the environment by increasing the number of high-performing, energy-efficient existing homes in the United States. While we will do our best to monitor all comments and blog posts for accuracy and relevancy, Home Energy is not responsible for content posted by our readers or third parties.
Energy savings kicks in for set-points that are kept for long periods of time (best at eight or more hours). Refer to your furnace owner’s manual to find the minimum temperatures for optimal operation allowed for your unit.  This is usually in the 58-62 degree range. Set it and Forget it- Thermostats will allow you to temporarily make an area warmer or cooler without erasing the programmed temperatures (they will automatically set back at the next programmed time), however consistently overriding the programmed settings may end up costing more in energy bills not less.
If you have pets don’t forget to take them into consideration.  For example, many small dogs need additional warmth. Don’t crank the unit temperature drastically up or down, it will not heat or cool your home faster.  Most units begin heating or cooling at a specific time to reach their programmed temperature at the appropriate time.
Most homes have just one thermostat for the whole house.  If your home has more than one heating or cooling zone (a zone is an area of the house) you will need to program each zone individually to maximize optimal comfort and energy savings throughout the house. Please keep in mind that to operate properly, thermostats should be installed on an interior wall where the natural air currents occur. Do you have any suggestions or questions about using programmable thermostats to save on energy costs? Money may not grow on trees, but by planting them in the right places, they could be saving you money.
Simply landscaping your yard and planting trees strategically can help keep your home cool, protect it from cold winter winds, and save energy—thus saving you money. Oncor Electric and CenterPoint Energy are two major utility companies that have partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to bring the Energy Saving Trees program to Texas.  This free tree program has a web-based mapping tool that allows homeowners to compare energy savings based on the amount of shade different types of trees are capable of providing their home. Partnering utilities companies will provide up to three trees for you to plant in the area of your yard that allows for optimal energy savings.
If you recycle between now and August 31, 2012, you will automatically be eligible for Pennsylvania’s Oldest Refrigerator Contest. Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that, through the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, more than 40 state and local governments have supported thousands of professionals upgrading more than 100,000 homes and other buildings through its Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.
At least 30 programs of the original 40 are continuing without federal support, including programs in Oregon, Maine, Michigan, Virginia, and Florida.

Programs reported that more than 1,400 home improvement contractors completed upgrades for homeowners, and partners trained more than 5,000 home performance professionals.
This online resource will help energy efficiency program teams and their partners plan, implement, market, and evaluate residential energy upgrade programs. Currently comprised of more than 70 organizations, including Home Energy magazine, Residential Network members gain access to technical assistance and peer-sharing opportunities with a wide range of stakeholders who share best practices on home energy efficiency program strategies. Avoid locating them in direct sunlight, drafty areas, near doorways, skylights, or windows.  Also avoid placing furniture in front of or below the thermostat as they will block the airflow and make it inconvenient to access for programming.  Don’t like the way your thermostat wall looks?
She’s fairly new to the HVAC industry but is backed with the support of expert technicians, including Resource Services’ owner Dennis Sult who has over 45 years of industry experience.  She enjoys reading, writing, and pursuing creative endeavors like scrapbooking and experimenting with new recipes.
This sponsored program allows homeowners to save money on bills in a way that may not have been considered before.
There you will also find links to valuable energy savings tips along with a variety of other valuable energy efficiency rebate opportunities from UGI Electric.
The UGI Electric winner will receive a $250 gift card for ENERGY STAR® product purchases, and “The Oldest Fridge in Pennsylvania” winner will receive a $1,000 gift card for ENERGY STAR® product purchases. These upgrades will save families and businesses more than $730 million in estimated lifetime energy savings on utility bills.
Membership is open to all organizations interested in expanding the market for residential energy efficiency, including contractors, financial institutions, nonprofits, state and local governments, and utilities.
So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. What’s more, everything program partners learned about program design, marketing and outreach, financing, workforce development, and more is being compiled into an easy-to-use online resource to help other residential energy efficiency programs in the future.
May is National Pet Month, Family Wellness Month, AND National Physical Fitness & Sports month.

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