Energy Conservation Tips | Upstate New York Energy Association
Conservation Tips

Invest a Little ... Save a Lot

When you think about "investments," CDs, money markets, stocks and bonds probably come to mind. But some of the most important investments - and those with greater returns than any bank - are in energy-efficient equipment and weatherization.

But you don't have to spend a fortune to get quick results. These investments can be as simple as switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs or installing a programmable thermostat. In fact, you may have already invested in some of these conservation measures without realizing their value.

  1. Have your furnace or boiler regularly maintained by an UNYEA professional. An annual tune-up can save 5% on your energy bill. Regular service also minimizes breakdowns and can extend equipment life by as much as 10 years. A free annual tune-up is often included in your service contract.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat. These "smart" devices automatically adjust room temperature settings to energy-saving levels when you're sleeping or away from home, eliminating wasteful energy usage. Research by ACEEE indicates that a single setback each day of five degrees Fahrenheit provides a 10% savings. Using a programmable thermostat effectively can deliver a return on your investment of up to 124% or more!*
  3. Install or add attic insulation. In the average home, about one-third of heat loss occurs through ceilings. Heated air seeps through ceilings into the attic because of gaps in drywall and around hatches, light fixtures, pipes and chimneys. Warm air in an attic can cause ice dams to form on the roof as well as other moisture problems in the attic. That's why your ceiling should have a minimum of six inches of quality, thermal insulation. The Consumer Energy Council of America reports that ceiling insulation can provide a 16% energy savings and an Internal Rate of Return of 41%!*
  4. Install a flame retention burner. Flame retention combines higher motor speeds with sophisticated combustion heads. The result is a hotter, cleaner, more efficient flame and more heat from every drop of oil you burn. Research by Brookhaven National Laboratory has clearly demonstrated that a flame retention burner can reduce energy consumption in a home, on average, by 17%, and provides a compelling return of 34%.*
  5. Weatherize your home with weather-stripping around doors and windows and insulation in crawl spaces and the attic. Seal air leaks on the exterior of your home with caulking. Install storm windows and doors. Insulate your water heater and hot water pipes. Seal and insulate ducts. Replace old windows or apply clear plastic film. This "house doctoring" is an easy, relatively low-cost way to reduce energy bills, particularly in older houses with drafty windows and doors, and provides a 27% return on your investment!*
  6. Use a whole house fan or window fan for cooling on warm nights.
  7. Install ceiling fans for air circulation.
  8. When replacing or upgrading your appliances, choose the most energy-efficient models that suit your budget (See ENERGY STAR® information below).
  9. Install dimmer switches and motion sensors to control lights when you are away from home.
  10. Change to compact fluorescent light bulbs, especially for lights you use frequently and for long periods of time.
  11. Set the temperature of your refrigerator between 38° and 42° F. If set 10° colder, it will use 25% more electricity. Set your freezer between 0° and 5° F.

* Smart Choices for Consumers: Analysis of the Best Ways to Reduce High Heating Costs, Consumer Energy Council of America, November 2005

3 Ways to Cut Water Heating Bills:

  1. If your water heater is in an unheated space, insulate it with a "jacket." Read installation instructions carefully.
  2. Upgrade to an oil-fired water heater. You could save over 30% on your water heating bills and get more hot water on demand.
  3. Fix hot water leaks promptly. With a leak that drips once a second for one month, you lose enough hot water for 16 baths!

Source: National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)

Reach for the Energy Star!


If you use Oilheat, you're already saving money. And as an Oilheat customer, you can continue to cut costs and keep New York beautiful when you upgrade or replace your old equipment with products that have received the ENERGY STAR® rating. Created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only the most energy efficient products have earned the ENERGY STAR.

Did you know that if just 1-in-10 households bought ENERGY STAR equipment, over 17 billion pounds of pollution would be removed from the air? Plus, ENERGY STAR products can help you save hundreds of dollars per year. For example, by upgrading to an ENERGY STAR-rated oil-fired furnace or boiler, you can reduce heating bills by almost 30%! And in case you're wondering where to find one, the ENERGY STAR web site features a growing list of clean-burning, environmentally-friendly oil-fired boilers and furnaces that have earned the coveted ENERGY STAR.

As much as half of the energy you use goes to cool and heat your home, so why burn money - literally - when you can reach for the ENERGY STAR! To install ENERGY STAR-qualified Oilheat products, contact one of our member dealers today.

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