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Countdown to Cool Savings this Summer

Release Date: 05/23/2007
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA (May 23, 2007) -- The heat of summer may be right around the corner, but consumers and small businesses can stay cool and protect the environment by following five recommendations from EPA.

"This summer, you don't have to let sweltering temperatures and sky-high energy bills get under your skin," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By taking a few simple energy-efficient steps, Americans can beat the heat while keeping more money in their pockets."

The average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. With a few steps like seasonal maintenance of energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, consumers can save on their energy bills and help reduce the risks of global warming.

EPA recommends the following five steps to help consumers and small businesses count down to a cooler planet and a more energy-efficient home:

5. Find and seal air leaks that cause drafts and make your cooling system work overtime. Sealing and insulating your home can prevent the loss of cooled air and help save up to 10 percent on your energy bills each year.

4. Look for the Energy Star when purchasing cooling products for your home. Products such as room air-conditioners and programmable thermostats that have earned the Energy Star operate more efficiently, which saves money and help protect the environment.

3. Schedule annual, pre-season maintenance checkups with a licensed contractor to ensure that your cooling system is operating efficiently and safely. Be sure to clean or change your system's air filter regularly (generally once a month).

2. Install a programmable thermostat and use your ceiling fans wisely. Turn your thermostat up several degrees when you are away (and your home doesn't need to be kept as cool). And use your ceiling fans only when you are in the room to save even more.

1. Visit our interactive web-based tool, Energy Star @ home, to learn more ways to make your home energy-efficient. Homeowners can see where they're doing well, find areas for improvement and learn how they can use energy more efficiently to save money and enjoy year-round comfort in their home. Homeowners will also be able to share their home improvement stories or read and learn about others who have saved through energy-efficient upgrades.

Many of these same tips for consumers are also useful for small businesses. In fact, with energy saving improvements throughout their facilities, small businesses can save up to 25 percent or higher on their energy bills.

EPA started the Energy Star program in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, Energy Star offers businesses and consumers energy efficient solutions to save energy, money and protect the environment for future generations. More than 9,000 organizations participate in the Energy Star program. In 2006 alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $14 billion in energy costs and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million vehicles.

Tips on making your home more energy-efficient: http://www.energystar.gov/home

Advice for small businesses: http://www.energystar.gov/smallbiz

Radio Editor's Note: An EPA audio file on this topic is available in mp3.

See our radio news webpage www.epa.gov/region03/radio news. htm