By Janet Goetze
For the Star News
Residents trying to reduce energy use while making their homes more comfortable may apply for “smart” thermostats and energy saving devices from Enhabit, formerly Clean Energy Works.
Enhabit, a nonprofit partnering with homeowners, local governments, utilities and community groups, plans to install 500 thermostats that can be programmed for lower temperatures when no one is home. Some also can be remotely programmed from a phone or tablet. These devices may lower energy bills by up to 20 percent, according to a news release from the nonprofit.
Homeowners may apply for the devices at enhabit.org/smart. The organization offers professional installation and a free home assessment. It also has Energy Trust incentives for qualifying equipment and products through May 30, or until supplies last.
Enhabit also offers tips for getting smart with energy use, including using LED light bulbs, which use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. A new, efficient water heater also may save money and energy over heaters more than 10 years old.
The organization also recommends insulation in attics, walls and floors. Sealing cracks and openings in doors, windows, ceilings, walls and floors will cut drafts and reduce heating costs by 20 to 30 percent, according to Enhabit.