Tips To Help You Manage Energy Costs

Anticipating rising energy costs, some homeowners are taking steps to lower their energy bills year-round. In fact, more than 80 percent of homeowners are interested in learning more about different home energy choices, according to a survey from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
 Or fill your tank before the start of the heating season.

� Discuss payment plan options with your retailer. Seasonally higher bills can be spread over many months for better balance.

� Consider installing home appliances such as high-efficiency propane water heaters and furnaces. The federal government is offering a tax credit of up to $500 for qualifying energy-saving improvements made during the 2006 and 2007 calendar years. For more information, visit .

PERC also offers some simple steps that will help keep energy from escaping:

HGTV host Scott Morgan says that homeowners should be more actively involved in making better dmparable electric model.

� Turn down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees to save more than 10 percent on your water heating bill.

� Change your furnace filter monthly; use the receipt of your monthly propane bill as a reminder.he dust off the refrigerator coils every three months so it takes less energy to cool. Check the gaskets around the door and make sure it shuts tight.
ecisions for their homes. "Americans are not powerless when it comes to their energy," says Morgan. He believes that families building new homes have a huge opportunity to make smart energy choices that will pay off over the long term.

Homeowners can start by creating a three-step energy plan:

� If you use fuel that requires delivery, such as propane, arrange a regular delivery schedule with your supplier.
� Inspect and tune up your residential heating system regularly so it runs more efficiently.

� Consider switching to a propane water heater. Over time, propane water heaters can save up to one-third as compared to electricity, and they heat more than twice as much water in an hour as a co
� Install flow-restricting s

� Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket.

� Vacuum thowerheads to reduce hot water usage by up to 50 percent without affecting shower pressure.

� Run washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers with a full load.

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