Come to the Green Side

December 18, 2011, 7:00 am
Filed under: Energy, Green Tips

When the heating bill starts to go up in the winter it can be a little hard to take.  These simple tips from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) can be a starting point for reining in some of your winter expenses:

  • Try using a crock pot instead of the stove.  Soups, chilis and stews are a good food choice for the winter and the crock pot can be a simple and economical way to sit down to a warm meal on a cold night.
  • Close your blinds at night to keep the drafts and cold air from infiltrating the interior of the house.  On the flip side, open the blinds during the day to take advantage of the warm sunshine.
  • Go without an electric blanket.  The CUB Energy Saver estimates that using one 10 hours a week during the winter months adds $13 to a typical electric bill.
  • Cut down on your shower time.  It saves on your utility bill–and your skin.
  • Lower your water heater temperature.  Putting a water heater blanket on helps even more.
  • Replace your old, incandescent holiday lights with LEDs can save up to $16 a year.
  • Replace CFL bulbs in just two of your most used sockets and save up to $20 a year!

December 4, 2011, 7:00 am
Filed under: Energy, Environmental programs

Are you interested in controlling the energy costs in your house but don’t necessarily have the money to do it?  Look into obtaining an Energy Impact Low Interest Loan to eliminate the upfront cost and allow you to pay for the improvements over a longer period.

Loans can be used on the following types of efficiency upgrades:

  • Boiler or Furnace With Additional Items –  Water heaters, programmable thermostats, central AC or any other Energy Star appliance or equipment are eligible if done in conjunction with a boiler or furnace
  • Whole Home Improvements – Anything recommended by a certified energy assessor that results in a comprehensive savings of 15% or more

Check out this website for a list of the lenders and the contractors so you can get started now on bringing your house up to its maximum energy efficiency!

October 24, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Energy, Light Bulbs

Beginning in 2012, the incandescent light bulb will be phased out over a period of time through 2014 as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act passed by Congress in 2007.

100 watt bulbs will be phased out in 2012.
75 watt bulbs will be phased out in 2013.
60 and 40 watt bulbs will be phased out in 2014.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are expected to be the leading replacements for standard incandescent light bulbs, at least at first.  These bulbs use less energy to emit the same levels of light as the incandescent bulbsWhile more expensive, these bulbs last longer and are more energy efficient. 

CFL bulbs must be recycled, however, in a safe manner.  The villages of Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg accept their residents’ bulbs for recycling as does any Ace Hardware.

September 12, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Appliances, Energy

The Schaumburg Township District Library is now circulating Kill-A-Watt meters to our STDL cardholders.  The meters allow users to measure how much electricity their household appliances and electronics consume.  They are available at the Audio Visual Information Desk on the first floor.  Meters may be checked out for seven days and renewed twice if there are no holds.

Take advantage of this easy, free way to check out the watt usage in your home!

June 27, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Energy

If you are a Hoffman Estates village resident living in a single-family, owner occupied home that was built before 1990, you are eligible for an energy audit at a reduced fee. 

Through a grant from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, eligble residents may now schedule an audit by calling the village at 847-781-2631. 

The audit costs $100 and a $50 rebate is given to those homeowners who implement at least one of the recommended improvements.  A free re-inspection must be conducted after improvements are completed to receive the rebate. 

It will also be necessary for homeowners to supply the previous year’s utility bills so that inspectors have a baseline for the home’s energy usage.

Because audits through private companies can cost up to $600, this reasonable solution is a wonderful compromise for Hoffman Estates residents!

For more info, see www.hoffmanestates.or/green.

March 28, 2010, 7:40 am
Filed under: Energy, Upcoming Events

Earth Day is a great day to find out how to decrease your energy use and save money.  Bob Chomko of Home Services and Consulting will discuss the free audits being offered to Schaumburg Village residents and paid for by an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Thursday, April 22  7:30-9:00 p.m.
Rasmussen South Room
Schaumburg Township District Library
130 S. Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL
Info:  847-923-3347

March 7, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Energy

Keith Shank, Endangered Species Consultant for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), works extensively with the wind energy industry and local governments to address wildlife issues. He will speak about what we know and don’t know about the impact of wind generators, and what is and isn’t being done currently to protect wildlife and birds. 

Where:  Spring Valley Nature Center, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road,  Schaumburg
When:  Thursday, March 18, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.