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Energy Efficiency & Demand Response

You may have heard the phrase, “the cheapest kilowatt is the one never used.” There are several tools and resources to help reduce and manage our energy needs and thus reduce our costs. Let’s take a look at some options.

Programmable Thermostats

One of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption is through a programmable thermostat. These allow temperatures to be pre-set differently when you are present or away so that adjustments are automatic without sacrificing comfort. A smart thermostat is both programmable and connected to Wi-Fi allows settings to be adjusted remotely, which is important if you want to take advantage of a demand response program.

Demand Response

Demand Response is a voluntary program that compensates end-use (retail) customers for reducing their electricity use (load), when requested by a utility or grid operator. These situations might occur during periods of high energy prices or high energy demand. Customers who opt in receive compensation or credits in return for this service.

Energy Efficiency

Very simply, energy efficiency is the use of less energy to perform the same function or produce the same result. Below are several resources that can help you become more energy efficient.

Energy Star Program

ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). Its goal is to help consumers, businesses, and industry save money and protect the environment through the adoption of energy-efficient products and practices. The ENERGY STAR label identifies top-performing, cost-effective products, homes, and buildings.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, federal income tax credits for energy efficiency equipment and home improvements will be available through 2032. A broad selection of ENERGY STAR certified equipment is eligible for the tax credits. Independently certified to save energy, ENERGY STAR products program sets specifications, testing procedures, and verification testing requirements for various consumer appliances, electronics, and commercial equipment.

Energy Audits or Assessments

Energy audits can help identify where your home or building is losing energy and what actions can be taken to reduce this energy loss and save you money. It starts with understanding your base energy consumption by reviewing and analyzing past energy bills, typically over the prior 12 months. An energy audit also includes various interior and exterior inspections to assess insulation, seals around windows and doors, as well as lighting. There are many energy auditors that you can hire, however, you should always start with your utility provider as they often have the ability to conduct an energy audit for free.

Utility Programs

Indiana’s investor-owned electric utilities are required to file with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) a request for approval of an energy efficiency plan not less than one time every three years. These plans include residential, commercial, and industrial programs focused on reducing energy consumption through demand side management (DSM) practices.

Learn more about Indiana’s utility demand response, energy efficiency, and energy audit/assessment programs through the links below.

For more tips on how to save energy and money, visit Energy Saver to explore and learn.