The Public Utility Commission Tuesday released an educational video on home energy audits, offering tips for consumers to detect and correct issues in their home to save both energy and money this winter.
"In Pennsylvania, we can spend a lot of our home budget on energy for heating, cooling, appliances and lighting," said a PUC consumer educator in the video. "A home energy audit, conducted by either a professional or a do-it-yourselfer, will detect problems in your home that waste energy – and reveal areas to save money. Fixing these issues may save you up to 30 percent on your monthly energy bill."
While the video describes measures that a hired professional can take to detect issues, it also explains ways for consumers to check their own homes for issues in five areas – air leaks, insulation, the furnace, appliances and lighting – and provides tips to correct these issues.
For example, the video notes that the attic is the most important area to insulate, and that replacing traditional light bulbs with newer, more efficient bulbs will both conserve energy and offer long-term cost savings.
"Lighting accounts for 10 percent of your electric bill, so start replacing your incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency CFLs and LEDs. They use about one-eighth of the energy of an incandescent bulb, and they last much longer."
The new video can be found on PAPowerSwitch.com, the PUC website on the Educational Videos page and on the PUC's YouTube channel. The video is part of a series of short videos highlighting key aspects of shopping for electricity and ways to save energy. PUC staff produces these videos with existing Commission resources.
The launch of this video coincides with the PUC's annual "Prepare Now" campaign, which provides consumers with simple tips to lower their energy bills, including shopping for electricity and natural gas, as well as ways to conserve energy around the house.
It also offers information about low-income programs that help consumers restore and maintain service.
The PUC's message is simple – Prepare Now for winter energy costs:
— Learn more about conservation.
— Check your electric and natural gas bills and supplier contracts.
— Look into programs that help low-income customers maintain service.
— Explore other steps to reduce long-term heating and energy consumption – such as weatherization programs, the addition of insulation and/or the installation of energy efficient appliances and lighting, which many consumers can do themselves.Consumers interested in more information about these important programs can visit the PUC Prepare Now; follow social media messages that contain the #PrepareNow tag; or call the PUC at 1-800-692-7380.