Little steps can have a big impact on your pocketbook.
Just ask Northbrook resident Tracey Becker, who slashed her power bills by 30 percent this year, in part by taking simple actions recommended by CUBEnergySaver.com, the Citizen Utility Board’s (CUB) free online service that builds a customized money-saving plan for your home.
“Energy efficiency doesn’t have to be expensive or cumbersome,” said Becker, who is one of the top 50 energy-savers in Illinois, with about 8,000 kilowatt-hours of savings, according to CUB’s tool. “CUB Energy Saver showed my family easy, low-cost ways to go green and save money.”
Becker spoke about the power of energy efficiency at a recent CUB news conference, in which CUB announced that efficiency had replaced shopping for alternative suppliers as the most reliable way to save in Illinois. She calculates that since August 2012, she has saved her family $650 on annual bills by taking actions such as using ENERGY STAR appliances; setting a programmable thermostat; replacing old light bulbs with energy-efficient options; and unplugging unused appliances.
Because she linked her ComEd account to the service, she also earned points for her energy savings over the year. She has traded in those points for Amazon gift cards, which she uses for her family’s daily expenses.
But Becker didn’t just stop with CUB Energy Saver. Becker and her family applied for a rebate from Nicor for installing a programmable thermostat. They earned a $35 rebate from ComEd for trading in their old refrigerator. They even received a tax benefit for replacing old windows.
There are still challenges ahead. Becker’s next move is to use smart energy strips for all her electronics– that, and continue the ongoing battle to get her family to turn off the lights and ceiling fans when leaving a room. But CUB Energy Saver has provided a gateway to a world of energy efficiency actions for her family of four.
“Opportunities to save are everywhere,” Becker said. “And it’s a wise consumer that considers a greener option that will benefit both the environment and their pocketbook.”