Assistance with Energy Bills / Energy Savings Tips
Utility Bill Assistance Programs
HEAT – is a federally funded program that helps qualified income-eligible individuals pay their utility bills. The program runs November through March or until funds are exhausted. Customers may receive an application from any Department of Human Services or a designated energy office.
Utah Assistance Programs
Ways to save Energy (and reduce your bill)
There are many ways to change the amount of energy required to heat (or cool) your home, operate appliances, or reduce the water you use in the home. Generally these energy saving ideas involve changing either the amount of energy required to maintain your home’s temperature at a given level, changing the temperature to which you heat (or cool) the home, or reducing the energy required to operate appliances. Reducing the amount of natural gas, electricity, and water you use in your home each month will reduce your monthly utility bills.
Lowest (or no) cost behavioral changes
- Change the temperature settings a few degrees and adding a sweater or other multiple layers of clothing can translate into large savings over time.
- Changing the temperature setting when not at home or while asleep will save a significant amount of money as well. Experts suggest an eight-degree setback at night. Installing a clock thermostat makes this last step a particularly easy one.
- Set your thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer. Install a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system.
- Don’t heat portions of your home you may not use, if some parts of your home are only used sporadically; cover, or partially cover, the air vents. This will reduce the amount of energy required to keep the occupied portion of your home at the desired temperature.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120° F.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Moderate Cost Options
- Check the caulk around window and door frames. Solid tight seals keep conditioned air inside the home and cold (or hot) air outside. Less air exchange from the outside to the inside of the home means less energy is required to keep the homes temperature where you want it.
- Buy electrical outlet gaskets. A significant source of air infiltration can occur through the electrical outlet boxes. Placing a gasket (they are precut to fit behind the faceplates) in the electrical boxes behind the faceplate blocks this pathway into your home.
- If you have windows that do not need to be opened on a regular basis (possibly basement windows or spare rooms) you can cover them with a layer of plastic sheeting (inside the home). The kits sold to do this contain two-sided tape and sheets of thin plastic. You simply put the tape around the frame of the window and then press the plastic sheet against the tape. A blow dryer (or other moderate heat source) may then be used to shrink fit the plastic covering. The result is a solid barrier that stops air infiltration through the windows joints, and an extra layer of insulation as the trapped air between the window and plastic sheet forms an insulating layer between the outside environment and the inside of your home.
- Drapes can also be used as effective additional insulation for windows. Particularly at night. Closing heavy drapes over windows will provide a significant thermal barrier.
Higher Cost Options
- Additional insulation can make a significant improvement in home heating and cooling costs. Many older homes do not have even the minimum amount of insulation to pass current building codes. Currently code level should be considered a minimal amount; since any additional insulation will provide additional savings. Homeowners should generally concentrate on adding additional attic insulation as it provides the best payoff. However, anytime home remodeling or additions are undertaken, consider adding insulation to walls.
- Windows that are single pane, or that have aluminum frames generally perform poorly in terms of helping you keep your energy consumption down. Just like insulation, windows are also rated with respect to their thermal properties. Unlike insulation’s “R” value, windows receive a “U” value. Generally the lower the “U” value the better the window will perform. A highly efficient window system will help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. (See www. For a calculation of potential savings from replacing or upgrading your home’s windows.) Using windows with vinyl frames, double or triple panes, and “low-e” coatings will significantly reduce your home’s energy consumption.
- Replace inefficient heating and cooling equipment, and major appliances (such as refrigerators and freezers). Today’s manufacturers offer very high efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, and other major appliances. Compared to 15 to 20 year old “standard” equipment these new appliances’ fuel or energy consumption may only be about 50 percent to 75 percent of what the older appliances are currently using.
The following websites are available to help consumers make informed decisions about their energy use.
The Federal Department of Energy has the following websites to assist customers in understanding their energy users.
- US Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency
- US Department of Energy – Consumer Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Tools to Assess Your Home’s Energy Use
- Home Improvement Tools
- The Home Energy Saver Energy Advisor – The first web-based do-it-yourself energy audit tool
Save Energy and Money in your Current Home
Save Energy and Money on your New Home Construction
American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy – Consumer guide to home energy savings and tax incentives.
Energy Guide – Allows you to get a quick analysis of your energy use, with product recommendations (e.g. washer and dryers, refrigerators, room air-conditioners and water heaters) for saving money.
Utility Connection – The Utility Connection provides links to 4,032 electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities, utility associations, organizations, news, magazines, utility financial resources, and related state & federal regulatory and information sites.
Utah State Energy Office – Provide a list of energy consultants in the State of Utah