Columbia encourages free, easy ways to save on energy bills

1 month 1 day 3 hours ago April 22, 2017 Apr 22, 2017 Saturday, April 22 2017 Saturday, April 22, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT in News
By: Chris Joseph, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — Saturday is Earth Day and the City of Columbia has a series of recommendations on how to save money on energy bills and to help the environment.

"Energy efficiency doesn't have to mean huddling in the dark, and being cold in the winter and hot in the summer," said Eric Hempel, Columbia Water and Light energy educator.  

"Affordable comfort is possible," he said.

Columbia Water and Light estimates 50 percent of an energy bill comes from heating and cooling.

Significant savings could be made by adjusting the thermostat. By turning up the thermostat by a degree this summer, Columbia Water and Light estimates households could save up to 5 percent on their cooling bill.

"It makes the air conditioner run less, and you have to pay for less energy," Hempel said. 

Water and Light recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter to maximize savings. 

The city also recommends the following things citizens can do for free for cheaper energy bills during the summer:

— Leaving window shades down which receive direct sunlight during the day

— Using ovens, dishwashers, and other heat-producing appliances during the late evening or early morning when the outside temperature is cooler

— Turning up the thermostat before leaving the house

— Wearing comfortable and loose-fitting clothes to remain cool

— Keeping fireplace chimney dampers closed

— Setting the water heater temperature to 120 degrees

— Don't block radiators and vents

— Only run full loads in dishwashers and washing machines

— Washing clothes in cold water

The department also offers free individualized energy audits to apartments and homes.

"You can find out how to save energy on your utility bill by having some of our experts coming out and helping you there," said Barabara Buffaloe, Columbia sustainability manager.

In addition to the energy audits, the city offers free landscape audits. These allow the city to determine where any trees would maximize shade on homes and what type of trees would be best.

Landscape-audited households get one coupon for a shade tree, which would save money on the cooling bill by shading the house.

More expensive but energy efficient ways of reducing bills include attic insulation and the installation of solar panels.

"Set it and forget it. That's the way it is with insulation in the attic," Hempel said.  

"When you blow the insulation or install the insulation in the attic, it starts working right away and really doesn't stop working until somebody gets up there and moves it around," he said.  

The city provides energy bill credits to homes with solar panels. Some homes are better positioned for the panels than others.  

"What we are looking for is a south facing roof with no shading," Sabrina Schively, a solar consultant with Missouri Solar Applications.

Schively said solar panels are a significant investment but will reduce energy bills in the long term. 

Buffaloe said she encourages those who are curious about how to lower energy bill to give the city call at 573-874-CITY (573-874-2489).

More News

Grid
List
PINEVILLE — A southwest Missouri prosecutor has dropped a murder charge in a 2011 death of an Arkansas man, but... More >>
12 minutes ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 8:32:45 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY — A Kansas City man is charged with shooting into a south Kansas City church, injuring a church... More >>
2 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:32:57 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House committee has endorsed a bill authorizing discounted electric rates for steel and aluminum production... More >>
3 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:57:10 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City police were investigating a Tuesday evening shots fired incident that left a man with an... More >>
9 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - After President Trump's executive order that put a temporary hold on people from certain countries entering the United... More >>
10 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:52:00 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. CHARLES - The second day of a trial in the death of Missouri State Trooper James Bava centered around... More >>
11 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri System Board of Curators voted Tuesday afternoon to increase tuition at all four UM... More >>
13 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University was expected to announce its interim president on Thursday. The university's board of curators... More >>
14 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:37:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - As lawmakers met in special session Tuesday, Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at a rally of Missourians wanting... More >>
14 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:18:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Family and friends of Cameron Scott Caruthers spoke to KOMU 8 News over the telephone Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
15 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent home a letter to parents Tuesday addressing rumors about possible threats. CPS Superintendent... More >>
15 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A restaurant was closed Tuesday after crews found high levels of natural gas. Columbia fire crews responded... More >>
16 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City will be seeing new bike racks installed around town. The goal is to make... More >>
16 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Dashcam video shows that a University of Missouri-Kansas City student seemed confused when she was stopped... More >>
16 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The man shot Monday on Dawn Ridge Road has died and robbery does not appear to be a... More >>
17 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman has pleaded guilty to murder and armed criminal action in the death of a man... More >>
17 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:03:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society has brought in over 200 animals so far this year and is looking... More >>
18 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton plans to retire at the end of the next... More >>
19 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:08:28 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
9am 54°
10am 57°
11am 59°
12pm 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld