Thrifty District

Thrifty District: Cold Weather Heating Bills, OH NO!

Photo courtesy of
‘Icy Sunshine on Photowalk’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Many DC residents saw spikes of hundreds of dollars in their utility bills last month that Pepco is basing on the unusually cold weather we’re having- even if you keep your heat low, your heater has to work harder to keep your home at a consistent temperature, so demand for power most likely spiked last month, too. This is also an effect of busted HVAC. You can click here to view AirNow Cooling & Heating’s information and know more about the power spike.

So… how do you stay snug and toasty when money might be tight? If you’re a single-family homeowner in the District, a good place to start would be with the DC Department of the Environment’s free home energy auditing service, available to all DC residents regardless of income.  This audit can point out a variety of ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency, including the really simple ones like “Put more insulation over there,” or “OH MY GOD how long has it been since you weatherstripped your back door?” Even if you’re a renter, the DOE’s energy audit information contains many suggestions for investigating where energy is being wasted.  (I kid you not, DC DOE has a Facebook Fan Page. Who do they think they are, us?)  You can also find lots of DIY home auditing information at   Continue reading