Keeping Winter Weather from Wreaking Havoc on Home Heating Bills

first_imgWith winter approaching and consumers across Indiana turning up their furnaces, experts say it’s a good time to consider how your home can be more energy efficient.Snow, sleet, and ice have many Hoosiers turning up their thermostats, and those natural gas and electric bills can be expensive.According to Anthony Swinger, director of external affairs at the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, a home energy audit can help residents reduce their energy use and better manage their heating bills. He noted that many consumers are eligible for free assessments from the Energizing Indiana program.“They’ll send someone out, do a walk-through, spend some time with you and actually show you where in your home you can make improvements that will can really help and add up,” he said.Other tips to keep heating bills down include clean furnace filters, checking your insulation, setting ceiling fans to turn clockwise at a low speed, and using programmable thermostats that turn down the temperature when you are at work or sleeping.If you are facing financial hardship and can’t pay a bill on time, Swinger suggests reaching out to your utility company.“The more proactive you are, the earlier you contact the utility, and the earlier you work out a payment arrangement and keep it, the better the odds are that you’ll keep those services connected,” he said.Additionally, most Indiana natural gas and electric utilities offer budget billing programs, which he said provide for set monthly payments, making it easier to plan ahead.Swinger pointed out that another easy way to save money is to cut back on what he refers to as “vampire power.”“We’re talking about a cell-phone charger that’s plugged into the wall, but no phone is plugged in at the other end, or another a small appliance that you might keep plugged in that doesn’t really need to be plugged in, but it is using energy to some degree,” he specified.Lighting can also be expensive, and Swinger suggested switching to CFL bulbs which are more efficient, using only a fourth as much energy as traditional incandescent bulbs, and lasting about ten times longer.last_img read more

Bucksport girls collect wins in two events at EMITL meet

first_img Latest Posts Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Biocenter_img Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016 Sumner’s Barammee Janla sprints in the 55-meter dash at Saturday’s Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House. Janla placed first in 6.71. PHOTO BY TIM SUELLENTROPEllsworth’s Brandon St. Germain competes in the long jump at Saturday’s Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House. St. Germain placed second with a distance of 17-09.75. PHOTO BY TIM SUELLENTROPSumner’s Sally Lockhart competes in the high jump at Saturday’s Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House. PHOTO BY TIM SUELLENTROP123PreviousNextORONO — Bucksport’s Mavis Taungatu’a and Natalie Coleman led their team to a fourth place finish at the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet on Saturday at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House.Taungatu’a placed first in shot put with a distance of 32-09.75. Coleman placed first in the 2-mile run in 13:34.54 and second in the mile in 1:08.10.The Bucksport girls finished the days with 48 points. Ellsworth placed sixth of seven teams with 20 and Sumner seventh with eight. Orono won with 84 points, with Old Town close behind with 83.For the boys, Sumner placed fifth of seven teams with 32 points. Ellsworth was sixth with 30 and Bucksport, seventh with 11. Old Town won with 120 points, with Orono trailing in second place with 86.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFor the Bucksport girls, Sydnie Howard contributed a second-place finish in the triple jump with 27-02. Howard also placed third in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.95.For the Bucksport boys, Skyler Fraga placed first in the 1-mile in 5:06.37.For the Sumner boys, Christian Kimball placed first in the 55-meter hurdles in 9.77. Baramee Janla placed first in the 55-meter dash in 6.71 and second in the 200-meter dash in 23.67.For the Sumner girls, Emily Martin placed third in the 55-meter dash in 8.43.For the Ellsworth girls, Elizabeth Perry placed second in shot put with 30-09.50, and Olivia Lounder placed third in the 1-mile in 6:14.99.For the Ellsworth boys, Brandon St. Germain placed second in the long jump with 17-09.75.last_img read more