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WINTER ENERGY TIP FROM Burlington Electric Department

November 7th, 2009 · 1 Comment


By Mary Sullivan, BED Communications Coordinator – City of Burlington, Pine St, msullivan@burlingtonelectric.com Fri, 06 November 2009


Here is a tip from Chris Burns, director of BED’s Energy Services.


Energy Tip from the Burlington Electric Department


With the heating season here it is important to know what types of improvements save energy in buildings and what do not. There is still a lot of myths and misinformation.        


Let’s discuss two — setting back the temperature and replacing windows.  A thermostat setback does save energy. For each degree you lower the thermostat (for the entire day) you save about 2% on your bill.  With one or two regular setbacks lasting six to 10 hours each day it is possible to reduce your annual heating costs by 10 to 25%.  Consider getting a 7-day programmable thermostat (about $30 to $60) to automatically adjust the temperature for you.  You can program it to meet your work and sleep schedules.


Regarding window replacement, if your only reason for replacing windows is to save energy dollars it’s typically not worth it.  The annual energy costs for a typical single-glazed window with a storm is about $35 per year when using natural gas heat.  Installing the most energy efficient window could easily cut that in half.  However, the price of a window could be several hundred dollars. Savings of about $17 per year is not very cost-effective.  Houses generally lose much more heat through the ceiling to the attic, exterior walls and other air leaks than through the windows. More inches of insulation in the attic and/or sealing the big air leaks is almost always more cost-effective and improves comfort. 


When determining the best bang for your buck in making your homes more energy efficient and comfortable, feel free to consult with BED or Vermont Gas Systems about options and potential savings.


Please call BED at 865-7362 if you want more information on energy efficiency or visit http://www.burlingtonelectric.com.

Tags: windows

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ron // Nov 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you to BED for stating what many manufacturers fail to tell people. The financial benefits of replacing historic windows is not easily paid back in the lifetime of the product.
    If you also factor in the market loss of replacement windows then they would never pay for “themselves”. Many potential owners that are looking for affordable historic homes see replacement windows as a big negative! In places like Charleston South Carolina studies have shown that homes can lose up to 14% of their resale value because of poor quality replacement materials.
    The second biggest “restoration” advice we give people is to blow insulation into the ceiling/attic for immediate return on their investment…more to come on that subject.

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