Energy Fun Facts

Energy providers like IDT Energy know how important proper education can impact energy conservation and monthly savings. Here are some fun energy facts to share with your children or students:

Energy Savings Tips for Fall and Winter

The Energy Department recently shared some energy savings tips for the fall and winter seasons. As the temperature cools off, interior spaces can get chilly very quickly, while issues such as hot water can start to raise your bills as well.

The Department suggests:

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

  • Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Cover Drafty Windows

  • Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
    Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

Adjust the Temperature

  • When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
    Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings. Also see ENERGY STAR’s June 5, 2008, podcast for video instructions on operating your programmable thermostat.

Find and Seal Leaks

  • Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
    Find out how to detect air leaks.
    Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
    Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk.
    Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

Maintain Your Heating Systems

  • Schedule service for your heating system.
    Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.
  • Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed.
    Find out more about maintaining your furnace or boiler.
  • Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.
    Find other maintenance recommendations for wood- and pellet-burning appliances.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly — approximately 1 inch — and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.
    Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance’s efficiency.
    Learn tips for safe and efficient fireplace installation and wood burning.

Lower Your Water Heating Costs

Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.

  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.

IDT Energy’s Geoffrey Rochwarger on Creating Value

IDT Energy CEO Geoffrey Rochwarger recently wrote an article discussing cost-cutting and creating real value in companies.

He explained: “For many U.S. businesses, one story has played out repeatedly over the last several years: lower revenue and higher earnings. Investors may cheer the short-term results, but it’s unsustainable over the long run. Eventually, the cost-cutting must end and value must be created.

“Managers must evolve their business plans to meet customers’ changing needs. Every business, if it wants to grow, needs to identify how customers’ behaviors change and how this creates new markets—large and niche—that are as yet untapped. This goes for companies large and small,” he continued. “It is crucial for businesses to understand how they can leverage their customer’s additional needs to produce new revenue streams. This can be done in many ways. It may mean offering more services, tailoring existing services to further serve customers’ needs, or adjusting pricing tiers in a way that makes the product or service better for customers while augmenting the business’ earnings potential.”


IDT Energy Joins Retail Energy Supply Association

IDT Energy was recently named a member of the Retail Energy Supply Association.

CEO Geoff Rochwarger said: “IDT Energy is pleased to join RESA and its efforts to bring the benefits of competition to consumers who are still held captive by their local utility monopoly. In America, consumers should have the freedom to choose their energy supplier. Competitive markets bring more choice, lower rates, and innovation that puts the customer first.”

RESA President Melissa Lauderdale added: “RESA member companies are dedicated to providing value to natural gas and electric customers in competitive markets across the United States. We are pleased to welcome IDT Energy to our group of innovative and forward-thinking energy suppliers.”

New Study to Explore Energy Saving Obstacles

According to a recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkley and MIT’s Center for Energy & Environmental Policy Research are launching a research project to better understand energy use and cost-effective ways to reduce it.

Bloomberg explains “We all know that air conditioning eats up an enormous amount of energy. We also know that installing ceiling fans would allow us to use the air conditioner a lot less. And we know all the savings over time would pay for the ceiling fan.”

In that case, why aren’t more people buying them?

The new study plans to answer that question, and many others like it.

Energy-Efficient Heating Tips offers energy savings advice for any home, in any season. Here are some tips to keep your heating costs at a minimum:

  1. Stay warm, cut costs. Turning your thermostat down by 1°C can save you a significant amount each year. Also, keeping your heating on constantly on a low heat could potentially save you more money than switching it on and off for big blasts of heat.

  2. Get cosy. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won’t be tempted to turn the heating up.

  3. Turn the pressure down on the power shower, you’d be surprised how much water they use – sometimes even more than a bath.

How to Manage Energy Bills

IDT Energy does its best to provide its customers with information to help them make responsible energy-related decisions, while enabling them to conserve energy and lower monthly bills.

On the company’s website, one of the most frequently asked questions is “How can I better manage my energy bills?”

IDT responds:

“Consider enrolling in our Budget Billing Plan. Check with your local utility, which will estimate your yearly energy costs and spread your payments evenly throughout the year. That way, you have more control and are protected from seasonal cost peaks. With Budget Billing, your monthly bill will still show your actual usage and the costs for your service for the billing period. The utility regularly compares your bills and payments, and if your Budget Billing amount is too high or too low, it will let you know and change the amount on your next bill. For more information or to enroll, contact your local utility.”

Summer Energy Tips

As the season turns, homes and businesses are preparing for the onslaught of energy bills as air conditioning and fans become a necessity.

The US Department of Energy offers some energy saving tips for spring and summer. It explains that windows can be used to keep cool air inside while protecting a room from exterior heat. The website says:

  • If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.

  • Learn more about natural ventilation.

  • Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows. Find out about window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.