Dominion offers tips to help save energy costs

Published 9:35 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Editor’s Note: This is the second story in a series on how to save on energy costs this winter season.

It’s that time of year: temperatures are changing, thermostats are being adjusted and energy bills reflect the moves.

With every seasonal change, there are things that people need to keep in mind in order to save the most energy and money.

“One of the things I run into is that many of our customers don’t realize they are literally paying to heat and cool the outside of their homes, because they have poor seals in their homes,” said Chuck Penn, media and community relations manager for Dominion Virginia Power. “It’s wasting energy. And it’s not only the energy conservation standpoint, it also translates into paying less in your monthly energy bill.”

In recognition of October being National Energy Awareness Month, Dominion Power released a series of steps for people to take to keep their energy bill lower.

To prepare your house for winter, some important steps you should take include:

4Regularly replacing or cleaning filters of forced air furnaces

4Having your heating system inspected annually by a qualified professional

4Making sure heated air is not lost through loose or faulty connections in the home’s ductwork

“You really need to get rid of these wasteful things that cost you,” Penn said. “It’s using a lot more power than you realize. It’s the commonsense kinds of things that you can do to improve the seals of your home, as well as the things that gobble up a lot of electricity.”

To further help customers work on lowering their energy bills, Dominion Power has put several resources on its Web site for customers to access.

“We encourage our customers to use energy wisely and find ways to remain comfortable while saving money,” said Paul D. Koonce, chief executive officer of Dominion Virginia Power, said in a press release. “Dominion’s Web site offers a wide selection of information to help our customers find the projects that are best suited to their particular homes.”

Among the resources, there is a basic energy maintenance checklist that includes having the home’s heating system inspected and repaired before winter, turning off the heat in unoccupied area, checking thermostats for accuracy and sealing window air conditioning units.

Additionally, there are energy-saving tips to remember, including lowering the hot water temperature in the house, activating the computer’s sleep mode and turning off unnecessary lights.

Customers can also visit the Dominion Web site, www.dom.com, and work with energy calculators to see energy costs.