- Make use of natural light and use compact fluorescent bulbs
- Consolidate errands and walk or bike
- Look for ENERGY STAR labels on appliances
- Do a $99 home energy audit and save thousands of dollars over the life of your home. The Energy Impact Illinois program is an alliance of government, utilities and non-profit groups and funded through the “Energy Efficiency Programs” line item on your utility bills. More information is at www.energyimpactillinois.org and 1-855-9-IMPACT. The nonprofit program manager for Lombard is www.elevateenergy.org.
- Participate in Citizens Utility Board's (CUB’s) Energy Savers Program, citizensutilityboard.org
- ComEd’s Hourly Pricing Program allows residents the option of paying the variable hourly rate (based on consumer demand) rather than the flat rate. This can save significantly by using electricity in off-peak times, such as weekends and nights.
- Check out Cool DuPage for ideas for your home and workplace, and sign up to be part of this growing coalition that is seeking to reduce our county's carbon footprint for greenhouse gasses.
Keep your energy bills down with a quick at home energy audit
As temperatures begin to dip, energy costs can begin to rise. Help keep your energy use down by performing a quick energy audit on your home to help identify areas of energy conservation improvement. What kind of problems should you look for? Start with the most obvious flaws in the home.
- Air Leaks: Air leaks will cost you when it comes to both heating and cooling. Check windows, doors, electrical outlets, attic hatches, air conditioners, and baseboards, for leaks. If you can see sunlight around a window, there is a leak. Caulk in whatever gaps you can.
- Insulation: If your home is inadequately insulated, you could lose a lot of heat through the walls and ceiling, which results in excessive energy required for artificial heating in winter.
- By the same token, your home may get very hot in summer, requiring mechanical cooling measures, which consume high levels of electricity.
- Check the attic, and if possible also the exterior walls to determine if your home is sufficiently insulated. While inspecting the attic, also check for air leaks that may need to be caulked or weather stripped.
- Lighting: Check the wattage of the bulbs at use in your home. If they are of high wattage (such as 100 watts), they can be replaced with lower wattage bulbs.
- Softer light will suffice in areas where you relax, while you may need stronger light for study areas.
- Fluorescent bulbs help save energy in places where you spend most of your time and in areas where lights are kept on for hours at a time.
- Heating/Cooling: Check and clean the filters of your furnace every month. A professional cleaner should be called annually.
- If your equipment is older than fifteen years, a newer model is likely to provide greater efficiency, and decrease energy consumption.
- A short term investment could lead to long term returns as newer models are far more energy efficient than older versions. Also check the ducts of heating and cooling units for leaks.