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Energy costs are on everyone's mind this winter. That's why we want to share the following steps and important information from our colleagues at the Energy Communications Council (ECC) to help you save energy, money and the environment.
Oil heat consumers can save on winter heating costs by tuning up their heating oil systems now, enrolling in a budget payment plan with automatic delivery from their heating oil supplier, as well as taking other simple steps to conserve energy.
Today’s oil furnaces are highly efficient, and according to the heating oil industry’s Energy Communications Council (ECC), an annual tune-up keeps existing equipment functioning at top performance.
The U.S. Department of Energy maintains that properly serviced boilers and furnaces will burn less fuel, thus reducing heating costs by up to 10 percent. Priced relatively low, the expense of a system tune-up can be more than recovered over the course of a typical winter, which makes regular maintenance a good return on investment.
“Tuning up their heating system before the winter arrives is a great way for consumers to lower their heating costs, conserve energy, and help the environment,” said ECC Spokesman Kevin Rooney. “Just as a failure to perform regular maintenance on the family car lowers miles per gallon (MPG) and uses more gasoline. The same theory also applies to the family’s heating system.”
Regular tune-ups are not the only way homeowners can save money this winter. Wrapping pipes with proper insulation to prevent both heat loss and freezing, eliminating gaps around windows and doors with caulking, and replacing your manual thermostat with a programmable model are also among the practical steps that home and business owners can take to save energy and lower their bills.
Homeowners should also carefully consider replacing heating oil systems that are more than 20 years old. This investment can lower heating bills for years to come, and depending on the system, pay for itself in just a few years. The newest systems have come a very long way in terms of fuel conservation, so homeowners can save money and shrink their carbon footprint as well.
In addition to the ease of automatic delivery based on usage, consumers should also consider the financial benefits of a budget payment plan for their energy purchases, which spreads fuel oil costs across twelve months, as opposed to higher bills during only the winter heating months. Budget plans make it possible for a customer to anticipate their monthly bills and budget accordingly. “Many oilheat consumers across the country use budget billing because they like the convenience and certainty of having one heating expense figure to plug into their monthly home or business budget,” Rooney said.
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Source: The ECC is comprised of the New England Fuel Institute, the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers’ Association, the Empire State Petroleum Association, the Massachusetts Oilheat Council, Oil Heat Comfort