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Energy Saving Tips from Energy Impact Illinois to Beat the Heat This Summer

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Energy Impact Illinois is helping homeowners combat the hot and humid Chicago summer with energy efficiency tips that help the environment and reduce utility bills. Energy efficiency is the process of making more with less – more comfort in your home and savings on your bills – by making changes to reduce the energy you use. The average Illinois household spends $3,000 per year on energy. By taking just a few easy steps, homeowners can make efficiency improvements that can help reduce these costs by 15 to 30 percent– that’s $450 to $900 per year!

1. Install (or use) a programmable thermostat — If you have central heating and cooling in your home, using a programmable thermostat and making sure it’s properly programmed for the summer months is a low cost first step to reducing your utility bills. A programmable thermostat automatically raises or lowers the temperature of your home at set times of the day. You can purchase them at most hardware stores and install them yourself in under an hour.

2. Seal air leaks around your house – About 15-35 percent of the energy used to heat and cool the average home is lost due to air leaks that are easily fixable. Sealing and insulating the "envelope" of your home — your outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors — delivers a big bang for your buck. Properly sealing cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor environment.

3. Consult an energy professional for big savings – Professional energy assessment or energy upgrade contractors can help you identify problems and recommend which improvements will give you the most cost savings and energy impact. For a list of certified contractors, visit www.theenergybills.org

4. Insulate your attic or roof – Proper insulation is a key to an energy efficient home and helps reduce your AC bill in the summer in addition to helping keep your house warm in the winter. Older homes are often under insulated, and many new homes can also benefit from improved insulation. Consider hiring an energy assessor who can examine your current insulation and suggest whether you should invest in this project.

5. Check out MyHomeEQ for a customized energy savings plan – Visit www.MyHomeEQ.com and submit your address and home details to get customized information on how much energy your home is using and what you can do to make it more energy efficient.

Want to learn more about how to cut your energy costs and make your home more energy efficient? Check out www.TheEnergyBills.com for more energy savings tips and resources for making upgrades. Also, be sure to like The Energy Bills on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the latest tips and videos from Big Bill and Little Bill as the summer heats up.

Energy Impact Illinois is an alliance of local and federal organizations, utility companies and not-for-profit groups who are dedicated to helping communities change their energy usage habits, by offering access to a broad array of programs and solutions. The alliance provides people and businesses with smart, simple resources that make it easy to save energy and money for collective results in the seven county region of Northern Illinois and in the City of Rockford. The alliance was formed as a result of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative to spur energy efficiency upgrades and create a long-term energy efficiency market in the region. For more information, visit: www.energyimpactillinois.org.

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