By Holly Glen Gearhart, Contributing Writer
As the seasons change from warm to cold, windows and doors shrink and drafts are let in. Last week’s wind and rain storm is just the beginning of fall and winter in our area. A few steps to capture drafts and keep expensive heat inside can make this a cozy winter.
To help you save a few bucks on your heating bills, the Snohomish County PUD recommends that you take a day to check your windows and doors for drafts. The PUD estimates that 50 percent of their subscribers lost 20 percent of their heat to leaky windows. All you need is about a half hour to inspect and test your windows and doors–you could save enough money this winter to pay for a summer road trip!
The PUD has a couple of ways to help both the homeowner and non-homeowner lower their bills.
For customers with electrically heated homes, the PUD offers options to help you pay for eligible energy-saving home improvements. Customers who have electric heat and want to install 1) insulation in their floor, ceiling or walls; 2) insulated windows; 3) a heat pump; and/or 4) duct sealing and insulation are eligible for PUD cash incentives.
Work must be completed by a PUD Registered Contractor or by the homeowner to PUD specifications. Most work must be authorized by the PUD before it is started.
You also may be eligible for an Energy Smart loan from Snohomish County in addition to PUD cash incentives.
To see a brochure that explains the financial incentive program for home, apartment and business owners, visit http://tinyurl.com/23lw67d.
To visit an online energy advisor, go to http://tinyurl.com/l2o2qpx. Type in the number of windows in your home and other information and get an instant, customized energy-saving recommendation.
For 2013 an 2014, the PUD has also announced a low income and senior energy assistance program. Financial assistance for energy bills is available to low-income and seniors and provides a reduction of 20 to 60 percent off electric and water bills.
The assistance is available to households whose annual income is below the federal poverty level, $29,438 for a family of four, and senior citizens who are 62 years of age or older and have a combined disposable annual income of less than $27,381.
More information and applications for the PUD’s assistance programs are available at the PUD website or by calling customer service at (425) 783-1000.
For additional assistance:
Project PRIDE: Voluntary contributions from PUD customers are administered by the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Low-income customers can get help with their bills. For more information, call the Red Cross at (425) 252-4103.
Helping Hands: Donations from PUD employees help low-income senior citizens pay their electric bills. The program is funded through employee payroll deductions, a holiday bazaar fundraiser and book fairs. For more information, call PUD Customer Service at (425) 783-1000, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.