Meet Tim F.

I've installed programmable thermostats and received a 20% reduction in energy usage (tracked through utility bills). This is the quickest and most inexpensive way to save — paying for itself in just one month. I've replaced all of my windows with ENERGY STAR double pane, Argon filled, Low E glass and received an additional 20% reduction in energy usage (tracked through utility bills). Not only am I saving energy but my house feels warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. I've caulked and insulated all wire and pipe penetrations through my walls and under the house. I've just replaced my Heat & Air system with an ENERGY STAR Gas Heat/14 SEER unit. I expect to see a small reduction in gas usage since my old unit was 16 years old and a significant reduction in electrical usage when the warmer (cooling) months return.

- Tim F.

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Meet Valerie L.

We are always focusing on energy savings since we only have so much to spend on bills. We turn off lights in rooms that are not in use, close off rooms to only heat the ones that we are using, and put plastic up on windows in the winter to keep the heat in. We have an old house so there is always something that needs to be done. We also replaced the old oil fired hot water tank with an electric one and keep the temperature to the factory setting and keep the thermostat down. By doing all these changes it has cut the fuel bill in half and the electric bill only went up a few dollars.

- Valerie L.

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Meet David

I installed a programmable thermostat in my home by myself. I was surprised how easy it was to install. I have the thermostat set to specific times corresponding to when I leave home, return, go to sleep and wake up. During the winter the thermostat automatically adjusts to 60 degrees when I'm at work and about 15 minutes before I get home it adjust to 68 degrees. When I go to bed, which is approximately the same time each night, the temperature automatically adjusts to 60 degrees and I keep a portable heater that I run in my room on low; thereby only heating my room and 15 minutes prior to me getting up in the morning the temperature automatically adjusts to 68. During the summer when the temperature is adjusted, according to what I listed above, it is to 78 degrees.

- David

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Meet Lynn B.

We had an old dryer that stopped working in October of 2008. We have gone dryer-less since then. We are a family of 5 and it is a wonderful lesson in planning ahead as well as living frugally. I have 4 racks that I dry clothes on in the basement during the cold Illinois months. The rest of the year I use a clothes line. Each load takes less than 24 hours to dry inside.

We purchased a programmable thermostat and that also has helped with our gas bill. We keep it at 60 in the winter at night and during the day when everyone is gone. When we are getting ready for school/work, and in the evenings until 10pm it is set at 65 degrees. If we are cold, we put on a sweatshirt, which costs us nothing in gas bills. I think this too has helped our gas bill tremendously. I believe these two easy and inexpensive changes have made a positive impact on our expenses as well as our environmental awareness.

- Lynn B.

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Meet MM&U

When purchasing our home about two years ago, the first thing we did was purchase all new ENERGY STAR appliances for the entire house. We then also replaced most of the lighting with energy efficient bulbs. We installed a new programmable thermostat and have our furnace get annual "check-ups." Additionally, during the days that are sunny but cold, we open the shades to the sun exposed side to heat up the rooms and save on our heating bills. Likewise, we installed room darkening insulated shades for the days we want to keep the heat or cold out. We also installed fans in the bedrooms and living room to cut down on heating and cooling expenses.

- MM&U

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Meet Michelle H.

Living in an apartment might seem to limit the impact that can be made in saving energy. I believe our family is living proof that this is simply not true. We have replaced all the bulbs in our house with compact fluorescent bulbs, and we didn't stop there. We also replaced all the bulbs in the common areas of the building. We use lamps in strategic places instead of glaring overhead lights throughout the house.

- Michelle H.

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Meet Bernhard A.

I have taken the condensation discharge from our central air conditioning unit, which was routed to a sink drain, and recovered the water, which we then use to water our garden and plants. We recover about 2-3 gallons a day, which was just going "down the drain". I changed the thermostat to a programmable thermostat so it only runs when we�re home. We set our thermostat to 76 degrees when we�re home, to save even more.

- Bernhard A.�

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Meet Rhona D.

I use solar powered outdoor lighting including lights on the patio which are bright enough to sit and have conversation with family and friends. I keep window coverings closed during the summer to keep the house cooler, and open in the winter to warm the house instead of heating. Also, I run the dishwasher and clothes washing equipment when full loads are ready to use less water. I make sure to replace the filters in my HVAC equipment monthly.

- Rhona D.

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Meet Marty M.

I have had insulation blown into my attic and have added 4 inches of insulation underneath my home. I purchased an ENERGY STAR qualified side-by-side refrigerator and clothes washer. Any appliance we purchase is ENERGY STAR rated. I had double insulated windows installed and I have ENERGY STAR bulbs in my kitchen, den, and living rooms.

- Marty M.

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Meet Jay C

I insulated my garage door with rigid foam and a reflective coating. Now the garage does not go below 40 degrees even in sub-zero days, the room above does not take as much energy to heat, and there was a reduction in sound intrusion. I also installed sun shades on the deck which reduced the temperature in the house, installed insulating curtains on southern exposure windows which reduced the radiant heat on the south side of the house during summer, and installed zoned heating on the furnace system. I�ve installed reflective film in the attic to help reduce radiant heat intrusion, and I�m waiting to see the benefits, but the attic temperature is definitely lower after installation.

- Jay C

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Meet Justin

Since my fianc� and I are still renters, sealing leaks and purchasing new appliances are not options for us to help save energy. Instead we have made small, but rewarding, changes around our apartment. To keep the apartment cool without turning the air conditioning on we close the blinds during the day to block the sunlight coming in through the glass and open windows in the evening when we get home to get a breeze. Every time a light bulb has burnt out we replace it with a CFL bulb. We turn the AC off during the day and unplug lamps, TVs, and other appliances (coffee pot, toaster, computer, etc.) while they're not in use. We have a 1,200 sq. ft. apartment and we've managed to keep our utility bill between $50 and $65 for three months now.

- Justin

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Meet Sarah

Our house is only 10-years-old, very well insulated, and has double pane windows. Last fall, when we had our annual air conditioning maintenance done, we found out we needed a new compressor. We had the repairs done, and around the same time we decided to readjust our programmable thermostat. We changed the daytime temperature from 78 to 80 degrees and the evening temperature from 73 to 77 degrees. We began running the ceiling fan in the bedroom at night to compensate. A couple of months later, we discovered we actually cut our electric bill by nearly half! What great savings. We are very happy!

- Sarah

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Meet Orlena

One change I made to save energy was to have my utility company install a programmable thermostat. It is programmed to save energy while we are sleeping and during the day while we are away from home.

- Orlena

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Meet William O.

I have switched out all of the bulbs in my home to CFLs except for my outside flood lights. So today Georgia Power reminded me that in honor of Earth Day, I should go ahead and switch those out as well. I believe that doing little things around your home are very important steps towards helping to preserve the environment. I have made recycling an activity my children and I do together to teach them the importance of being conscious of our environment. I have switched all my appliances to ENERGY STAR models and installed a programmable thermostat after I learned how much money they can save me and they make my carbon footprint a little smaller. Additional things about my home that are energy efficient are my HVAC unit that is only 5 years old and I keep it maintained. I have the recommended insulation throughout my home to act as an additional barrier for heating and cooling. I have double paned windows to help with that also. I have recently switched to green cleaning products that are biodegradable and safer for my home and children. Lastly, I bought reusable shopping bags at Kroger so I am one less person using those plastic throw away bags!

- William O.

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Meet Nora B.

Last year my husband and I remodeled our living room. We opened up the living room area to allow more air flow and heat circulation. When we tore into the walls we found that there was no insulation within the outside wall, so we insulated the walls. We also replaced our bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs throughout the house. We replaced the old thermostats with programmable thermostats so that we could monitor and program the temperatures. It has all made a big difference-we have saved 30% on our heating bills.

- Nore B.

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Meet Sheila T.

In 2005, my 2,050 square foot, one level ranch style home sustained 5 feet of flood water from Hurricane Katrina. My husband and I decided to rebuild our home and to make it as energy efficient as we could afford to. The home was completely gutted from floor to ceiling and treated for mold and termites. We installed new double-pane vinyl windows throughout the house, which totaled 18 windows. We installed all ENERGY STAR qualified appliances including a front-load clothes washer, dishwasher, and refrigerator. We now have a 4 ton, variable speed central air conditioning and heating system with a programmable thermostat. All of the air-ducts have been sealed and insulated in the attic. And lastly, all of our light bulbs are CFLs — it took us nearly 1 year to complete the project.

- Sheila T.

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Meet Dave M.

Since purchasing our home, my wife and I have made many improvements. We have installed new dual-pane windows, a new foam roof, additional attic and crawlspace insulation. We've sealed crawl spaces, installed an outdoor tank-less water heater, installed a new furnace with 12 SEER, and installed an energy-efficient air conditioner and programmable thermostat. As for our appliances, we've purchased and installed a new ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer, refrigerator, television, and computer. We've replaced most of our incandescent lighting with CFLs, and installed 4KW solar photovoltaic system on our garage roof. So far, we've seen a notable decrease in utility bills.

- Dave M.

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