FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
In the ABC’s of Consumer Protection, “E” is for Energy Efficiency
Las Cruces, NM – On Day 5 of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Hector Balderas released tips on how New Mexicans can save money by becoming more energy efficient.
“Since energy is such a necessity for all families and businesses, it’s important to understand your utility service, your rights, and how you can save money on your bills,” said Attorney General Balderas. “This Consumer Protection Week, take some time to become more energy efficient and save some money for your family.”
Below are some tips to help you save money by becoming more energy efficient:
Conserve In Hot Weather:
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher – every degree of extra cooling could increase energy usage up to eight percent
- Close interior blinds, drapes, or shades to block the sun and heat during warm weather
- Make sure your outside air conditioner or swamp cooler is shaded
- If you are leaving your home for more than four hours on a warm day, increase your thermostat to 80 degrees. You can turn it down when you get home
- Wait to do heat generating activities like cooking, laundry and dishwashing until the evening when the outside temperature may have dropped
Conserve In Cold Weather
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower
- Set ceiling fans on reverse to recirculate warm air that builds up near the ceiling
- Cover windows with insulating drapes or blinds, or where possible with plastic to help keep heat in
- Dress warmly while at home and use more blankets during the night
Become an Expert in Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency doesn’t mean doing without, it means doing what you are already doing, just more efficiently. Take advantage of the energy efficiency programs offered by your utility companies. For co-op offerings, talk to your local co-op.
For New Mexico utilities, you can find energy efficiency programs here:
- Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM): https://www.pnm.com/save-money-andenergy
- El Paso Electric (EPE): http://www.epesaver.com/
- Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS): https://www.xcelenergy.com/Programs_and_Rebates
- New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC): https://www.nmgco.com/energy_efficiency.aspx
Energy Efficiency When Renting
If you are renting or leasing you home, your utility situation is a little different than if you own your own home. Common utilities in rental units include electric, gas, water, sewer and garbage. Other services in a rental unit, such as phone service or cable, are considered amenities and the sole responsibility of the renter to set up and maintain. Your rental agreement should specifically state any and all policies regarding utility service and billing, including any late fees that may be assigned by the landlord for late payment. Look to your rental agreement to see what utilities you are responsible for paying, and whether or not those utilities need to be in your name.
Some good questions to ask:
- What utilities are you responsible for? What utilities are being paid by the landlord?
- Are the utility accounts in my name or the landlord’s name?
- Are there outstanding utility charges on the accounts?
- Does the landlord charge you a fee for late utilities? Is this fee in addition to the utility company’s late fee?
- Where are the fuse box and the hot water heater located?
- What kind of heating is in the unit and where is the thermostat located?
- Who is in control of the temperature setting and when is the heat turned on?
- Do other tenants have access to the thermostat?
For more information on energy savings and do-it-yourself projects, visit https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/home?s=mega or http://aceee.org/sector/residential
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