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Austin Energy Offers Thousands For Weatherizing Home
City of Austin officials want to make sure all residents are prepared and stay safe as the colder temperatures approach.
To help avoid the high energy costs, Austin Energy offers a rebate program that you can take part in by weatherizing your home. It’s called Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Rebate.
KEYE TV followed homeowner Charla Hathaway who got an assessment done by a city approved contractor, Conservation Services Inc.
“I knew my air conditioner is old, my heater is old, my house shakes when it turns on,” said Hathaway.
Austin Energy suggests if you have a home that is a decade or older, you need to look at making improvements. The rebate program will cover up to 20 percent of your cost.
“We all have to pay our property tax, but to get something back and personally make my own investment better,” said Hathaway.
Her total cost will be $7,300, but she can expect a check for $2,600 in rebates from the city.
Up until Feb. 28 Austin Energy will be offering an extra $200 for their winter rebate program.
Spokesperson Leslie Sopko says the upfront cost is worth the savings.
“On average, the customers who make these improvements to their homes can often see an up to 30 percent savings on their energy costs,” said Sopko.
Here are the improvements eligible for rebates:
- Air conditioner or heat pump (14 SEER/12.0 EER or greater)
- Duct repair and sealing
- Additional attic insulation
- Solar screens, window film, and Low-E glass
- Caulking and weather stripping
- Attic radiant barrier/reflective material
Thermostat - Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. Every degree you go higher can increase your electric bill by three to four percent.
Blinds/shades - Open blinds/shades on any windows hit by direct sunlight to help heat your home or apartment. Close them at sundown to help keep heat inside.
Fireplace - When not in use, make sure your fireplace damper is closed to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
Filters - Change or clean filters once a month to keep the furnace running efficiently. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.
Ceiling fans - Switch the setting on ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise to help push warm air back down. Turn fans off when not in the room.
Furniture placement - Try lounging near interior walls if possible. Exterior walls and older windows may be drafty.
Weather strip - Caulk and weather strip around windows and entry doors to prevent drafts. If you cannot get them caulked or weather sealed, place towels at the bottom of doors and on window seals to help reduce heat loss and prevent cold air from coming in.
Gasket covers - Use gasket covers around electrical outlet covers to prevent cold air from coming in.
Water heaters and pipes - Insulate electric water heaters and hot water pipes to avoid wasting energy. Be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered.
Visit www.austinenergy.com for more energy-efficiency tips and information about available rebates and low-interest loans to help make improvements.
By Christie Post