Energy adviser: Wealth of information at utility’s website

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Want to know how much the average monthly and annual electric bill would be for operating a new appliance? What’s the best and most efficient way to heat your home?

When switching out old light bulbs for new CFLs, what kind of savings can you expect? Answers to these and more questions are available at the Clark Public Utilities website.

With just a few clicks, you can access free home energy calculators and rate information. The site also includes brochures that will help you save energy and money, make informed investments in new heating and cooling equipment and appliances and keep you up to date on rebates, services and special programs.

In addition, past Energy Adviser columns are available at the website and can be searched by year and by topic.

Calculators

At the calculator section of the website, you will find:

• Home energy calculator: By using drop-down menus and filling in a few blanks you can get an idea of how you’re spending your energy dollars and how changes you make could affect your bill.

• Appliance calculator: You can use this tool to learn estimates of the average annual and monthly costs of operating household appliances. Just click on the “show” buttons to get started.

• Compact fluorescent lamps calculator: See how much you can save by exchanging your incandescent bulbs for CFLs or LEDs.

• Heating comparison: This calculator allows you to compare the cost of operating various home heating fuel types — heat pump, natural gas, electric furnace, propane.

• Programmable thermostat: Learn how much you can save by using a programmable thermostat with your heat system.

Brochures

Clark Public Utilities publishes informational brochures on a range of topics. To read online or download publications, click on the highlighted brochure name. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for free, to read online or download these files. If a link doesn’t work, be sure to check that you have allowed pop-ups for this site.

Brochure topics include information on the Green Lights program, which gives customers options to invest in renewable energy resource development. Other brochure titles: “Be Prepared: What to Do When the Lights Go Out,” “Standby Electric Generators: Safety Tips for Installation and Operation,” “Surge Protection: How to Keep Your Electrical Appliances Safe from Voltage Changes.” Also “Understanding Your Home Energy Use,” and “10 Easy Tips on Yard Care.”

Reminders and materials

Would you like a PowerLine refrigerator magnet with the power outage telephone reporting call number? How about a PowerLine phone sticker? Email a request and the utility will send one your way.

Posters dealing with streams and wetlands, watershed action and the life cycle of water can be ordered online. Educators may be interested in the “Shocking Truth” electrical safety book for grades three through eight or the “Water World” activity book for kindergarten through sixth grade.

General information

Customers may order the latest utility newsletter, Currents, or the “Clark Public Utilities Owner’s Manual,” offering a guide to utility services and programs. The utility’s annual report is also available at the website. So is its water quality report.

And don’t forget the “33 Ways to Save Energy and Money” fact sheet, or the fact sheets on reducing home air leaks, vacation conservation tips or conservation loans and grants.

Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to energyadviser@clarkpud.com or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.