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Don’t get spooked by your energy bills

With Halloween just around the corner, there is a lot to be afraid of – witches, ghosts, and ghouls, to name a few – but one thing you shouldn’t be scared of is your energy bills. 

As the temperature drops and the days get darker, we will all turn up the heat to stay warm. According to the Colorado Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate, “this winter, residential energy bills could rise as much as 54% over last year.” Not to mention, natural gas prices are at a 14-year high. But there are ways to cut your energy usage so you’re not breaking the bank. 

To be more energy efficient means using less energy in your day-to-day life. Here are some simple ways to avoid being an energy vampire. CORE provides rebates for these measures, and many of them you can DIY!

  1. Switch to LED lights – We are a massive advocate of LED lighting, and LEDs alone can cut your energy consumption by 75%! Plus, you can pick different tones to match your home’s aesthetic. 
  2. Seal up cracks and leaks in your home – If you don’t want to pay to heat the outdoors, add some air sealing. There are many spots throughout your home that you could seal up, like around windows, doors, outlets, chimneys, and lighting fixtures. 
  3. Insulate your home so you keep the heat in – Would you put on your ski jacket without adding a base layer first? Your baselayer keeps your warmth in, and the same goes for insulation. 
  4. Get a programmable thermostat – Always leaving home from 9 am-5 pm for work? And going to bed from 10 pm-7 am? You can program your thermostat to be off or lower during these times, so you’re not wasting heat. With a programmable thermostat, you can pre-set a schedule for times you want your home warmer or cooler, and it’s easy to override if your day-to-day changes. 
  5. Add layers and a blanket vs. turning up the heat – Get your body ready for cold days on the slopes by turning down the heat and adding layers. 
  6. Keep the blinds open – On sunny winter days, keep the blinds open and let the sunshine in. Close blinds at night or on overcast days to keep in the warm air. Also, consider insulated blinds for extra protection. 
  7. Turn down your water heater – A lot of energy goes into heating water, and 120 is hot enough to do the job, so if your water goes beyond that, you can turn it down. Also, you can wash your clothes and dishes in cooler water. 

If you want to lower your energy bills AND carbon emissions, switch from gas to electricity. Natural gas prices constantly fluctuate and have increased by around 130% in the past year. Electricity is more steady and better for the environment when using renewable resources, plus Holy Cross Energy has committed to 100% renewable energy by 2030. If you’ve had your heating system for 10-15 years, now is the time to look into making the switch to a heat pump

Take these steps to lower your utility bills this winter. If you want an expert’s opinion, start with a home energy assessment. For $100, a professional will come to your home and give you personalized measures to lower your energy usage. Plus, they offer free quick-fix solutions to help save energy. Don’t be an energy vampire this Halloween; make these changes to lower your energy bills!

Got questions? I am here to help. 

With Halloween just around the corner, there is a lot to be afraid of – witches, ghosts, and ghouls, to name a few – but one thing you shouldn’t be scared of is your energy bills. 


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Written by: Brittany LaClair

Brittany studied Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont where she discovered her passion for sustainability, conservation, and energy efficiency. During college, her love for travel brought her to Costa Rica and Spain where she gained an international perspective on environmental issues. After graduation, she wanted to find bigger mountains and explore the west, so she moved to Aspen to become a snowboard instructor for what she thought would be one winter. The outdoorsy, adventurous lifestyle sucked her in as she continues to enjoy life in the Roaring Fork Valley. Some of her favorite activities include snowboarding, hiking, trail running, camping, and paddleboarding. She has worked for nonprofits since 2016 and strives to have a positive impact on the community through CORE.

CORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to leading the Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net zero energy future.