Monday AM November 24th, 2008

With the struggling economy, Houston homeowners are likely looking for ways to cut their energy bills this winter. As Jack Williams reports, there are some simple tips to save money.
image of LED Christmas lightsReliant Energy's John Allen says one of the easiest and least expensive fixes is to install a programmable thermostat.

"Most folks in older homes have the old mercury switch thermostats and they don't really think about upgrading to a programmable thermostat and I think that's primarily because they think it's going to be expensive, it's going to be difficult to do, and it's neither of those things."

Another tip is to use natural, ambient light during the day to help heat the house and to close blinds at night to keep cold air out. Allen says another way to save money is to close your fireplace damper between uses. Keeping it open when you don't have a fire is a bad idea.

"You're literally throwing your money up the chimney and out the door at that point. So it's important that you make sure that you close that damper, especially at the end of the heating season when you're no longer going to be using that fireplace so you don't experience the same problem all year round and as you know, in our climate, air-conditioning dominates it most of the year."

He says using LED Christmas lights and putting them on a timer will also save money this winter.
Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...