The suggestions made by We Energies were:
- Control air leakage to save $79 to $131 per year.
- Raise thermostat settings to save $58 to $96 per year.
- Seal leaks in air ducts to save $52 to $86 per year.
I suspect if these are the top three ways that I can save on my bill, most people will receive the same suggestions on their Energy Gram.
Controlling Air Leakage
After reading the resources that We Energies provided, I learned that their estimate of saving $79 to $131 by controlling air leakage was based on an assumption I could improve the weather stripping around doors and in electrical outlets. However, all of the windows and doors in my house are fairly new, so there really isn’t much of an opportunity for improvement there. I will have to look further into improving insulation around my electrical outlets, even though I doubt I could save significant dollars in this area.
Raising the Thermostat
We Energies says I could save $58 to $96 per year if I push my thermostat to 76 degrees in the summer. I currently keep it at 75 degrees. I wondered if I could really save that much money just by raising the thermostat one degree, so I did a search on Google for “raise thermostat one degree”. I could quickly see in the results that consensus was a homeowner could save two to four percent on a utility bill if they would raise their thermostat one degree. I could probably save a little money here, although not as much as the email suggests, and I plan to try this out in the near future. We Energies also says that part of this cost savings could be realized by installing ceiling fans to help rooms feel cooler.
Sealing Leaks in Air Ducts
I’m intrigued by the notion of saving $52 to $86 simply by sealing leaks in the air ducts of my home. This is a project I had never considered before and have added it to my to-do list to evaluate further. Again, I turned to Google and found this article from Energy Star. The article claims that about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The article has links to a Do-It-Yourself Guide and brochures with more information.
All in all, I’m glad I took the time to analyze the energy saving from We Energies. It got me thinking what I can do to save some money on my utility bill. If you’re interested in analyzing your We Energies bill and looking for ways you can save money, visit the We Energies website for a number of resources, including 101 money-saving tips.
If you’re looking for a way to save some money on your electric bill, the We Energies Energy Partners Program offers a $50 credit each summer if you allow them to control your central air conditioner during periods of high demand for energy.
If you sign up for the program, We Energies will install a small radio device near your central air conditioner. This device allows We Energies to cycle the air conditioner between noon and 11pm from May 15th through September 15th of each year. According to We Energies, cycling air conditioners usually takes place on weekdays between noon and 8pm.
Three options are available:
- $50 credit – your air conditioner may be cycled off up to 6 continuous hours in one day
- $40 credit – your air conditioner may be cycled off up to 4 continuous hours in one day
- $12 credit – your air conditioner may be cycled off up to 45 minutes, run 15 minutes, and continue this cycle up to 8 hours in one day
Here’s a look at when We Energies has actually cycled air conditioners off:
- 2011 – None
- 2010 – None
- 2009 – None
- 2008 – None
- 2007 – Cycled once for 30 minutes
- 2006 – None
- 2005 – Cycled 4 days for a total of 2.5 hours
- 1999 to 2004 – None
To learn more or to enroll, visit the We Energies Energy Partners program webpage. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure this program is right for your situation. We Energies recommends that individuals with health problems that require central air conditioning do not participate in this program.
So do you think this is a good deal? Leave a comment and let us know.
We regularly feature energy savings tips to help Milwaukee area consumers reduce their utility bill. Follow this link to see all of our previous energy savings tips.
We Energies is giving away a free 2011 We Energies Cookie Book throughout November at various locations around Wisconsin. The recipe book giveaway has two signature events on Saturday, November 12, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, which will include opportunities for photos with Santa’s reindeer (bring your own camera) and to enjoy some hot cocoa too! The signature events are located at :
- Milwaukee – Miller Park parking lot (near Helfaer Field) – One Brewers Way
- Appleton – Fox Cities / Timber Rattlers Stadium parking lot – 2400 N. Casaloma Drive
Distribution of the Cookie Books actually starts today in Burlington, Fort Atkinson/Watertown, and Wautoma, and will continue to be distributed throughout Wisconsin until November 29th. These distribution locations will not have photo ops with Santa’s reindeer and hot cocoa like the signature events will. Milwaukee area distribution locations and dates are as follows:
- Burlington – 700 S. Kane St. – November 9th – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Franklin – 4800 W. Rawson Ave. – November 10th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Port Washington – 700 Sunset Road – November 10th from Noon to 4 p.m.
- West Bend – 245 Sand Dr. – November 10th from Noon to 4 p.m.
- Waukesha/Delafield – 1000 Northview Rd. (Waukesha County Expo Center) – November 11th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Milwaukee – One Brewers Way (Miller Park parking lot) – November 12th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Menomonee Falls – W140 N9100 Lilly Rd. – November 15th from Noon to 4 p.m.
- Milwaukee – 3100 W. North Ave. – November 16th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For complete list of the recipe book distribution events, see the We Energies website.