19 Feb 2015 Programming your savings
Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program is one of the many ways we’re balancing increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates while also enhancing the quality of life for our friends and neighbors.
We’re dedicated to making every home in Conway more energy efficient, and that’s why we offer free residential energy audits to help individuals assess a home’s energy use. A Conway Corporation certified energy professional will audit a home to discover where energy is being wasted or lost and give tips to correct the problems.
The auditor will perform a walk-through inspection of the home to determine its efficiency level by inspecting specific features including attic insulation levels, flow resistance rates, leakage rates and more. After gathering findings, he will give the homeowner a personalized framework with energy-efficient recommendations as well a personalized strategic energy-management plan with money-saving tips.
If you can identify and eliminate excess electric use, you can easily trim away wasted energy dollars. On average, homeowners who follow our auditor’s recommendations see a yearly savings of $370 and a life expectancy savings of $6,570.
Some recommendations are inexpensive or even free with quick results, while others — like investing in Energy Star appliances — are slightly more costly with a longer return. One cost-effective and simple measure that is often recommended is having a programmable thermostat installed at the home.
Programmable thermostats make it easy to save money on heating and cooling bills by resetting a thermostat when you are asleep or away from home according to a pre-set schedule. Best of all, houses that have a programmable thermostat typically save 10 percent or more on heating and cooling costs every year.
These thermostats can store six or more temperature settings for every day of the week plus you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program. Set the thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter while you’re awake and set it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning a thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is even more during milder temperatures.
In the summer, follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away and lowering the thermostat setting to 78 degrees only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.
A common misconception about heating and cooling is that it costs more money to warm or cool a space back to comfortable after the thermostat has been changed, resulting in little to no saving. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature in the winter, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly because the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. The longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you are saving because your house is losing less energy that it would have at the higher temperature. This same concept applies to raising your thermostat in the summer.
So what kind of programmable thermostat should you get? How about a free one from Conway Corporation? All Conway Corporation customers who schedule their free residential energy audit during the month of March will receive a free programmable thermostat. The audit must be completed by May 15, 2015, and the thermostat will be delivered at the time of the audit.
To schedule a free audit or to learn more about Conway Corporation’s Energy Smart program, contact Conway Corporation at 501.450.6000 or visit conwaycorp.com/services/electric and click on the Energy Smart tab.