DOER's Winter Fuels Consumer Tip Sheets:
- Fuel Assistance Programs available to Massachusetts residents.
- Oil Heat Contracts Tips .
- Oil Heat Maintenance and Energy Conservation Tips .
- Tips for Natural Gas Customers .
- Tips for Propane Customers .
- Tips for Selecting Energy Efficient Windows for homes in Massachusetts.
- Tips for Insulating Your Home .
"What Consumers Should Know" On-line brocures that explain, in layman's terms, Residential Natural Gas Pricing and Propane Pricing. From the Energy Information Division, the U.S. Department of Energy's independent statistical and analytical agency.
- Massachusetts Renewable Energy Tax Incentives - Massachusetts offers tax incentives to individuals and business that install renewable energy systems at their homes or offices. This section provides a summary of these incentives and who to contact for more information.
- Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency - Direct Federal tax credits for consumers (home improvements, cars, solar energy systems,and fuel cells), home builders, manufacturers, and commercial buildings.
- Energy Savers Guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Current and Propane Price Surveys
More DOER Energy-Saving Tips!
Windows and Doors
- Repair broken or cracked glass and putty older windows; check to see that windows close properly and window locks pull sashes together.
- Make sure doors close properly; repair or replace non-working doorknobs, latches and striker plates.
- Weatherstrip windows, doors and attic accesses; caulk the frames around windows and doors from the inside using a clear, pliable caulk.
Other Air Leaks
- If you have a fireplace, be sure it is fitted with a tight sealing damper that is closed when the fireplace is not in use. If the fireplace is used infrequently, use a chimney block to eliminate heat loss.
- Caulk foundation cracks and openings. Make sure kitchen and bathroom vent dampers close properly.
Lights and Hot Water
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent lights. Over its lifetime, a fluorescent bulb will save $30 - $50. Look for rebates from utilities to save you even more. Today's new compact fluorescent bulbs perform even better than the models of a few years ago.
- Install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators to save energy and water.
- Reduce your hot water heater temperature to 120°.
- Repair leaking hot water faucets, tanks and pipes.
Other Energy Tips
In addition, the following improvements can save more money on heating bills, although they generally require a greater up-front investment of time or money. Contact your gas or electric utility to find any rebates or other assistance that they may offer for such measures.
- Install automatic setback thermostats that adjust the heat to your schedule.
- Insulate attics (especially attics with less than seven inches of insulation), walls, and flooring over unheated crawl spaces or basements.
- Install exterior storm windows, including cellar storm windows. For windows that are rarely opened, consider installing interior storm windows.
- If you plan to replace your present oil or gas heating system, select a high efficiency unit with an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency Rating (AFUE) of at least 82 percent. Make sure the heating system is properly "sized" for your home; many systems are too large for the space being heated the result is a considerable waste of dollars.
- Replace standard curtains with tight sealing, insulated or quilted window coverings.
- For additional energy savings, DOER recommends that residential customers take advantage of the statewide MassSAVE programs by visiting www.masssave.com.