Easy ways to save money on energy costs this season - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Easy ways to save money on energy costs this season

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LEWISBURG, W. VA (WVVA)-- The Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce held a business power lunch on Wednesday in Lewisburg.

Local business owners learned how to best reduce energy costs, which can help a great deal in the winter months.

"This can help you improve your competitiveness and performance," said Rory McIlmoil, energy program director for Downstream Strategies and one of the guest speakers at the hour-long workshop.

According to McIlmoil, conserving energy can save a business thousands of dollars.

"This is a beautiful state, and it is where a lot of energy in the country is coming from," said guest speaker Tom Hale, an energy program representative for First Energy. "It would be great to get in [on saving it]."

Professionals also say there are ways to apply for free energy audits and find incentives for businesses to more efficiently use energy, like tax credits. Downstream Strategies and First Energy can provide more information for business owners who want to get started.

But this is not just a lesson for now.

"It is important to relate to other generations how to conserve," said McIlmoil. "We can pass it on and keep it going."

WVVA has compiled a list of tips from the power lunch on how not just businesses, but also homeowners, can save on electric and heat bills by reducing energy use:

- invest in alternative energy sources, such as solar energy

- install floors that absorb and trap heat (such as dark-colored carpet) when it comes through the windows

- remember to turn lights off

- reduce heat loss in machinery and entrances to home through caulking, placing plastic over windows, etc.

- change bulbs to compact fluorescent and other efficient bulbs

- be more aware of your usage (it helps to know how much you use, and see where problem areas occur)

- hang-dry clothes, especially in the summer, to avoid using a clothes-drier

- clean refrigerator coils (this makes the energy use more efficient)

- unclog heating vents

- install better insulation

- buy more efficient machinery/appliances

- for things you do not always use, plug them in on a power-strip. Just remember to turn the strip off when you are not using those things to keep them from drawing unnecessary power

- purchase insulated shutters

- install a light-colored roof. Dark-colored roofing increases heat absorption in a building

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