Looking for Ways to Save? GovBenefits Offers Weatherization Tips and Programs

Everyone is making sacrifices to cut costs this year. But did you know that by putting a few dollars into your home, you could save a significant amount on your utility bills?

Weatherizing your home is the best way to save your family money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Just having proper insulation in your walls and ceilings can cut anywhere from 20 to 50 percent off of your home heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

For help weatherizing your home, check out the Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons on GovBenefits.gov to see whether you qualify for this DOE benefit. Select your individual State?s Weatherization program to find information specific to your area.

In the meantime, here are a few simple things you can do on your own that can add up to big monthly savings.

TIP 1: Seal Up Any Air Leaks. Weather-strip any pull-down attic stairwells and seal up skylights, windows and even electrical outlet edges with caulking from your local hardware store. If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when not in use.

TIP 2: Don?t Heat an Empty House. Leaving the house for the day or a few days? Turning down the thermostat even five to eight degrees while you?re gone can save you almost 10 percent a year on heating bills, according to Energy Star.

TIP 3: Use Low Watt or Energy Saving Bulbs. Almost 10% of a home electric bill is from lighting alone, so use lower wattage light bulbs where appropriate or replace them with energy saving bulbs. Your electric company may offer rebates or other incentives for buying energy efficient lamps.

TIP 4: If You Aren?t Using it, Turn it Off. Making sure electronics are turned off or unplugged when not in use is still the most effective energy saving tip of all.

For a full listing of energy assistance programs available on GovBenefits.gov, select ?Energy Assistance? from the Benefits Quick Search on our homepage. You can also find more information on energy saving at the Department of Energy?s ?Your Home? website.