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Save energy; save money on your utility bill—learn how Nov. 5

10/30/2009 —

Saving money on your utility bill can be as easy as implementing a few energy-saving tips. Learn how to “green” your home and prevent energy loss at a special program Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. in Swimmer Hall at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus. The program, entitled “H.E.L.P.” (Home Energy Loss Prevention), is free and open to the public.

Dave Meredith, associate professor of engineering at Penn State Fayette, will lead the discussion, which will focus on how you can save energy around your home and see results in less than one year. Meredith explains, “There are many ways homes lose energy and a homeowner can reduce his or her heating bill significantly through some simple, relatively low-cost actions. As you see energy use decrease, you will see savings increase every year.”

Students from Meredith’s engineering classes have helped “energize” several homes in the community. In one case, the gas usage dropped so dramatically the utility changed out the meter, figuring it must have stopped working! In another case, the owner spent less than $100 in the fall and reduced his heating cost by $800 per year.

Each home is unique, so it is hard to accurately predict exactly how much heat is lost and where, Meredith says. “In general terms, there are three main areas to consider: walls and roof, air movement, and windows. Each represents about a third of the winter heating cost. Knowing where to find these dollar thieves is what I will be discussing. Some things are simple solutions, such as putting plastic on windows, plugging up air leaks through the skin of the house, and being sure the attic (and floor where appropriate) are well insulated. I will also spend a little time talking about heat losses from the water heating system and electrical losses.

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