Everyone wants to know the story behind their home’s energy use, and in an effort to save money and reduce consumption, some citizens switch out light bulbs, windows, appliances and even install additional insulation in their homes. But the question still remains: “Are any of the changes I am making, making a difference?”
City of Thomasville Utilities offers customers a way to answer this question through two free services: the HomeEnergyCalculator and in-home energy audits.
“We provide several options for our customers to find ways to make their homes more energy efficient, which ultimately helps them to save money on their monthly utility bills,” said Director of Customer Service Karis Mills. “The HomeEnergyCalculator is a way for customers to become more informed on how certain changes in their energy utilization can impact their monthly bill.”
HomeEnergyCalculator, found on www.thomasville.org, offers residential customers a complete analysis of their energy use based on simple information they provide. From the home page, the user simply opens the calculator and selects from: “I am interested in viewing a comprehensive report of my energy usage,” or “Where are my energy dollars going?” “What are some no-cost or low-cost recommendations for my home to lower my energy costs?” or “I want to run a custom comparison.”
“The entire calculation process takes less than 10 minutes, and best of all, it’s a free service provided by the City of Thomasville and is available 24/7,” Mills said.
The City of Thomasville also offers in-home, energy audits to utilities customers. These audits serve as a great tool to identify energy inefficiencies within customers’ homes.
“During the energy audits, I look at each aspect of the home, including the age of HVAC units, insulation, and numerous other factors that can affect energy utilization,” said Mark Parrillo, City of Thomasville customer care supervisor, and resident energy efficiency expert. “Once I complete the energy audit, I provide a detailed report of my findings, as well as a report of possible solutions on how to reduce any unnecessary energy usage.”
“Energy audits are by appointment only and take approximately one hour to complete,” Parrillo noted.
Even without a formal energy audit of your home, there are many ways to incorporate small changes to assist with lowering your energy consumption.
• Set the thermostat between 66-68 degrees.
• Close warm air supply registers for rooms that aren’t in use.
• Check your heating ducts to ensure there are no leaks.
• Clean/change filters to your heating/AC system.
• Open shades and drapes for sun-facing windows to let the sun help heat your home. Close these at night or during overcast days.
• Dress in warmer clothes and use additional layers to help insulate and keep in your body heat.
• Turn down your water heater. Your water heater may be heating your water much hotter than necessary. Suggested hot water heater settings range between 115 and 120 degrees.
• Turn off lights and unplug appliances when they are not in use. Many appliances still use electricity – even when they are in stand-by mode.
• Use lower wattage bulbs or energy-saver bulbs.
• Install water-saver shower heads to reduce hot water usage during showers.
To learn more about being energy efficient or to schedule an energy audit, call City of Thomasville Customer Care at 227-7001.