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NeighborWorks America Marks National Energy Awareness Month With Consumer Tips

NeighborWorks America Logo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today NeighborWorks America urged individuals and families to protect the environment while protecting their pocketbooks by making smart energy choices for their homes. In recognition of October being National Energy Awareness Month, and with homeowners and renters preparing for a particularly cold winter, NeighborWorks America urged consumers to reduce their utility costs by weatherizing their homes.

NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, has offered homeownership assistance and recommendations to renters and homeowners for nearly thirty-five years. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"Many homeowners and renters cannot afford high utility costs. But there are many steps they can take to manage these costs, such as preparing wisely for each season," said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer at NeighborWorks America.

NeighborWorks America offers families the following tips to reduce their energy costs and increase their home's energy efficiency.

Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

  • Replace the filters once a month to maintain an adequate and clean air flow and in turn reduce energy costs.
  • If you need to buy new appliances, buy the most energy efficient models you can afford. Look for household appliances that have earned the Energy Star® -- these products have met the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs. Light bulbs meeting new standards can result in significant energy conservation of 25%-80%. Light bulbs that meet these new standards include energy-saving incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. Light your home with the same amount of light for less money. Upgrading 15 of the traditional, less energy efficient incandescent light bulbs in your home could save you about $50 per year.
  • Close the door. Shut the door in rooms that aren't in use and save on heating costs.
  • Lower your thermostat. Keep the thermostat between 68-72 degrees in the cooler winter months. For each degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to five percent on the heating portion of your energy bill.
  • Add or replace insulation. Appropriate insulation can save you up to 30 percent on your heating bill, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. Insulation of your attic, floors, exterior walls, crawl spaces, and around outlets on exterior walls can help prevent energy loss. Be sure to choose high-quality, non-toxic materials, and replace matted or torn insulation to maximize its effectiveness.
  • Make sure you know the energy cost of your home. Homeowners and renters should anticipate utility costs, and their fluctuations, and plan accordingly so that there are no surprises. And be mindful of lifestyle changes. For example, spending more time at home to telework or care for a new baby may increase energy use and costs.
  • Replace or add caulking or weather stripping around windows and doors. Your home may have small openings around doors and windows that cause heat loss. Caulking and weather stripping can reduce energy waste and protect your home from moisture damage.
  • Install ceiling fans. A ceiling fan will help more evenly distribute warm and cool air generated by your heat pump, furnace, or A/C unit throughout the year.
  • Install storm windows and storm doors with screens. Storm doors and windows can reduce wasted energy by serving as an added barrier to your outdoor environment.

NeighborWorks America and the NeighborWorks network of local nonprofit organizations are committed to helping communities across the nation go "green" and become healthy, sustainable places for people to live and work.

If you need help with these tips, go to http://www.nw.org/network/consumers/energy-saving-tips.asp. If you're looking for a NeighborWorks organization, go to http://www.nw.org/network/Utilities/NWOLookup.asp.

For more information about NeighborWorks America, go to nw.org.

About NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

The NeighborWorks America logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=15144

CONTACT: Lindsay Moore, lmoore@nw.org, 202-220-6317

Source: NeighborWorks America