75 ways to save on home energy costs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Home energy bills have skyrocketed this year, mainly because of our never-ending warm weather and extremely hot summer. When the cooler weather finally arrives, you’ll have to deal with your heating costs. But there is a free service to check out your home's efficiency.

"So today we're here at this home in Indianapolis for an E-score home energy assessment. We are basically helping the homeowner understand what problems there may be for their home in terms of energy efficiency," said Casey Roehm, IPL Contractor with Clear Result.

Your home is likely your biggest, single monthly expense. Powering that home can cost you a pretty penny, so why not make sure it's efficient? IPL is providing 75 tips to save on your energy bills all year long, and for appliance efficiency. Here are just three of the tips for warm months:

  • Clean or replace cooling system filters every 60 days
  • Remove debris and obstructions from the air intake side of air conditioner's or heat pump's outdoor compressor unit
  • Landscaping can provide shade to your home and significantly reduce your cooling costs

"They suggested all sorts of ideas for my house which I recently moved into. They discussed new light bulbs that are far more energy efficient and even new insulation for my home," said homeowner Michael Patterson.

Those were just two of the many findings the contractors working for IPL discovered in just a couple hours. It's a service that's free to customers.

"We take a look at the heating system, cooling system, insulation levels, and we take a look at lighting opportunities, and water-saving measures," said Roehm.

Some of the fixes they were able to provide for free, on the spot, like light bulbs, and replacing the old thermostat with a new smart one. For additional savings, they'll come back. Here are a few more energy saving ideas, but this time for the upcoming cold months:

  • Close and seal crawl space vents and openings
  • Wrap insulation around water heaters and water lines in unheated crawl spaces or basements
  • Apply heat-shrink plastic around the inside of leaky windows
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed, except during use

You can apply for the complete brochure here.

"The technicians discovered my chimney flue was one culprit for hot air coming into the home, or cool air leaving. With the flue being open a little bit, it can bring hot unwanted air in the summer, or cool air during the winter. So, closing it can help out significantly," said Patterson.

Here are four more IPL tips that will lower your energy bills and increase your home's efficiency all year long.

  • Apply caulking and weather stripping around an interior garage or exterior basement entry door, and around exterior doors and window frames
  • Install insulated draperies or blinds around large windows and keep registers and air vents clear of obstructions.
  • Set your thermostat wisely

"After our first visit, phase 2 is where we come back if the homeowner wants. We provide a weatherization assessment, which is free of charge. We will actually air seal the home and potentially seal duct work for homes that qualify," said Roehm.

So who qualifies for the free assessment? Any IPL customer. Many of the fixes are free, but some are dependent on the homeowner's system.

"There needs to be either a heat pump or central air conditioning to qualify for the air sealing program. For duct sealing, you have to have forced air, electric heat in the home," said Roehm.

Once the ideas are implemented, the average customer saves about $500 a year! To sign up for the free assessment, go to the IPL's website to schedule the free service or you can also call the phone number, which is 1-866-908-4915.

"The great thing about this service is it'll save me time and stress, and it will let me go to bed happier knowing that my house is meeting standards and that I'm saving more money," said Patterson.

A homeowner's future IPL bill will show their assessment, upgrades, and continue to look for ways to improve. If you simply want 75 ways to save energy around the home, along with some rebates regardless of what systems you have, IPL has tips for that.