MARQUETTE - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that this winter will be a La Nina year, having larger than average local temperature swings and possible record cold snaps with Arctic outbreaks in the Upper Peninsula.
The time is now to maximize heating dollars-weatherproofing homes and using more energy-efficient appliances are easy things U.P. homeowners can do to lower energy costs.
Wasteful home energy systems can bring outrageous utility bills, with homes 20 years old and older being especially susceptible to increased energy costs. In response to this situation, the Michigan Propane Gas Association is providing local residents with simple home weatherization steps to save money and energy.
"Improving the energy efficiency of your home should begin with sealing air leaks," says MPGA president Dave Biggs. "It's the simplest and most inexpensive method, having a high return in improving energy efficiency."
Other maintenance tips include:
Retail stores sell standard propane water heaters for as low as $328 and new high-efficiency propane-fueled tankless heaters for as low as $470. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters are the second largest energy user in the home, accounting for up to 20 percent of an average household's annual energy costs. Furthermore, the new tankless water heaters cost up to 60 percent less to operate each year than the best traditional electric tank heaters. Propane gas is much better for the environment than electricity, and propane water heaters last longer.
To take advantage of the MPGA's Safe Water Heater Rebate program, go to www.UseMichiganPropane.com, in the search option, type in "Rebate" and click on "Water Heater Safety Rebate" or call the MPGA at 517-487-2021.
Propane is clean and reliable and reduces harmful environmental emissions that are caused by the production of electricity. To learn more about immediate savings on your energy bills while keeping you and your family safe, go to: www.UseMichiganPropane.com.
MPGA's Low-Cost Weatherization Tips:
Dangerous Weatherization Methods: