Take steps to cut your energy usage this summer

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

As the temperature rises, unfortunately so may your electric bill. Believe it or not, there are steps that you can take to manage your energy usage during the hot summer months. Your air conditioning unit accounts for well over half of your monthly energy usage Because of this, caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors to stop air leaks, as well as sealing any gaps in floors and walls around pipes and electrical wiring, is critical in maintaining a stable building envelope. Another simple but effective step is cleaning your A/C filter monthly; dirty filters make your air conditioning unit work harder. Insulation is a major supporter of your home's air conditioning system. Add or replace insulation in your attic, crawl space and any accessible exterior walls.

Lewisburg Electric System and TVA want to help those who may need their A/C unit replaced. We offer full financing through Regions Bank and select TVA energy right QCN contractors at a rate of 6 percent annually over 10 years for EnergyStar(r) units.

Along with our heat-pump program, LES and TVA also offer an In-Home Energy Evaluation (IHEE) program designed to encourage installation of energy efficiency improvements in single-family homes that are at least a year old. These steps run the gamut from caulking drafty cracks to installing a new A/C unit. After an initial $150 fee, this comprehensive in-home energy assessment, performed by TVA-certified energy advisors, will show homeowners the most cost-effective improvements for their home and inform the customer of any financing and cash rebates for qualifying energy efficiency improvements. If approved energy efficiency measures exceed $150, that fee will be waived.

For those customers who aren't quite ready for a full In-Home Energy Evaluation (IHEE), the TVA online and paper Home e-Valuation is a do-it-yourself program that allows residential customers to play an active role in saving energy in their homes. After completing an energy survey, customers receive a personalized report that breaks down their home's annual and monthly energy usage by appliances, heating and cooling, and lighting.

The program also provides tips and recommendations to save energy and updates on energy efficiency incentives. Participants who complete the survey receive an energy savings kit that contains compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, filter whistles, water flow monitors and other items to help you save energy.

To get started with these or other TVA energy efficiency programs, consumers should visit TVA's energy efficiency website at www.energyright.com or call Lewisburg Electric System at 359-2544.