Direct Energy's Solution to U.S.'s Energy Waste Problem

According to a study commissioned by Direct Energy, of the 93 percent of the Ohio survey respondents who have or plan to put up a holiday lighting display, more than half plan to keep their homes aglow and their energy bill low with energy-efficient lighting.

"The holidays are the time of year when many across the northeast U.S. see a spike in their energy bills because they're using more heat and lights," said Cory Byzewski, vice president and general manager of Direct Energy. "It's positive to see a large number of Ohio residents take control of their energy spend by reducing the amount of energy they consume during the holiday season."

With the New Year just a few weeks away, Direct Energy is encouraging customers to extend their energy-saving habits into 2010 by adopting one or two resolutions that are focused on using less energy around the house.

  • Invest in timers and resolve to use them. Timers and motion-sensors can bring that same feeling of security while also avoiding unnecessary energy usage.- It's a fairly inexpensive investment requiring little change on the consumer's end, but it can have a positive impact on those annual energy costs, while making the house look occupied even when it's not.
  • Shop the post-holiday sales for more efficient lighting. Consider using some of those gift cards toward purchasing LED (low-emitting diode) holiday lights when they go on sale in January; they run cooler, last longer, and use 10 percent of the energy an incandescent bulb does. Have money left on that gift card? Stock up on compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for year-round use inside your home. They also last a lot longer and use much, much less electricity for the same lighting as their incandescent counterparts.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Resolve to buy one and use it, or to actually set yours and not override it. Programmable thermostats allow consumers to cool or heat their homes only when it's needed, and avoid running the cooling or heating system for an empty house.
  • Turn it off and unplug it. How many times have you found the television watching the room in your house? Remember to turn off lights and electronics whenever you leave a room and unplug anything that isn't in use to prevent electronics from consuming power even when they're not on. The simple flick of a switch and pull of a cord will help you conserve energy.
  • Commit to preventative maintenance. This can be as easy as changing the filter on the heating or cooling system on a regular basis to avoid the buildup of particles that make the system work harder than it needs to and can avoid unnecessary wear-and-tear on the system's components. To maximize the efficiency potential, resolve to have the system checked annually by a qualified technician who can help diagnose problems before they cause system down-time at the least convenient moment.
  • Understand your natural gas pricing plan. Make sure you know who your retail natural gas provider is, what type of plan you're on (whether it can change from month-to-month or depending on market changes, or whether it's fixed), what the length of your agreement term is, and when it expires.
"We don't have an energy problem in North America, we have an energy-waste problem," said Byzewski. "We all can stand to use a little less energy without really impacting our comfort and lifestyle. At the end of the day, the less you use, the less you have to pay."

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