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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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Energy Adviser: Help available to save on energy bill


If you’re a looking for ways to find some savings in your household budgets, your monthly energy bill is a great place to start.

Lowering your energy bill and making your home more comfortable all year long may be easier than you think. In fact, there are often so many energy conservation solutions that it can be tough to know where to begin.

“These days, the first thing many people do when they want to learn something is get online and look it up. But the problem is that the internet is filled with conflicting, often inaccurate and sometimes dangerous information about home energy conservation, particularly for homes in the Northwest,” Energy Services Supervisor DuWayne Dunham said. “Our team of experts in the Energy Services Department are trained to stay up-to-date on the cutting-edge of home energy efficiency products and practices and pass that information on to our customers.”

One of the easiest ways for customers to learn about making their homes more efficient is by speaking with Trevor Frick, the Clark Public Utilities Energy Counselor of the Day.

One quick call or email to him is often all it takes to find out how to make the most out of every energy dollar. Customers can call 360-992-3355 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or can email questions to ecod@clarkpud.com.

“Houses don’t come with instruction manuals. Plus, the things that were common practice a few years ago may not be relevant anymore,” Frick said. “We hear from homeowners and renters all the time, some just want to know the most efficient temperature to set the thermostat while others are debating which big energy efficiency project they should invest in first.”

Through the utility’s records, Frick has access to a customer’s energy account information — including a home’s consumption history, information about the home’s size and age. That information enables him to give each caller personalized suggestions backed by data.

Frick said he often has to dispel outdated or false energy conservation information that people hear from well-meaning friends and relatives or read online.

“A really common myth is people think blocking crawlspace vents is a good way to save energy but this is not the case in our climate,” he said. “Crawlspace vents are there for a reason and blocking them can trap excess moisture beneath the home leading to long-term issues and could elevate radon levels in the home. A better strategy is to leave the vents open and properly weatherize the crawlspace by adding insulation and air sealing the floor, and wrapping water pipes.”

Clark Public Utilities has filled ClarkPublicUtilities.com with energy conservation resources that customers can explore at their convenience.

The website hosts a variety of home energy calculators to help residents better understand current energy use and how much they could save, several informative pages for energy conservation, details about rebates and low-interest loan programs and much more.

A more personalized review of a customer’s energy use is available from the energy calculator at MyAccount. After you answer a few basic questions about your home, the tool combines that with information from your household’s utility account to offer customized results and potential savings that are possible.

Customers can also sign up for and customize text and email notifications from MyAccount to manage accounts easily, anytime. MyAccount is secure, convenient, and designed to work on computers and mobile devices.

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