Checklists To Help Cut Energy Bills at Work and Home

April 22, 2020

Happy Earth Day!

The content below is provided by CORE, a non-profit focused on leading the Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net-zero energy future.

April 22, 2020 (Aspen, Colo.) — If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to go with the flow. For many of us, there has been less driving, less working in person (or, sadly, less working at all), more time at home, and more businesses that are unoccupied. As we shift, so does our energy usage. 

This brave new world has impacts at home and work. Utility data demonstrates the effects of powering up our residential heating systems for more hours of the day; keeping our hygiene on point with extra hot water for handwashing, dishes, and laundry; and going to larger, more energy-intensive internet packages. Meanwhile, business owners and facility managers may have idle equipment or vacant buildings that don’t need to be heated and cooled to the usual standards of human comfort, health and safety.

So how to keep the utility bills at a minimum? The Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), with help from Holy Cross Energy, has prepared energy checklists for buildings. These DIY energy projects and conservation measures will keep a lid on the bills and help maintain some energy sanity, paying off with resiliency that starts now and continues into the future. Taking the steps will also cut carbon emissions and get residents on CORE’s Path to Zero (www.aspencore.org/take-action). Rebates may be available and some energy-efficiency products can be delivered straight to your door from the HCE Store (www.HCEStore.com).

Business Checklist

PDF | JPG

  • Thermostats*: Program to match occupancy hours. For unoccupied buildings, turn down to 50 degrees to save energy while keeping pipes from freezing.
  • Rooftop HVAC units: Check economizers, verifying that dampers are opening and closing properly, not stuck in a stationary position.
  • Equipment: Unplug from outlets if not in use or put plug loads on advanced power strips.
  • Air filters + coils: Replace filters* and clean coils on HVAC and refrigeration units to keep equipment running on top efficiency.
  • 24/7 lighting: Put on occupancy and vacancy sensors*.
  • LED lighting*: Replace old bulbs with LEDs.
  • Heat tape + snowmelt systems: Turn off at breakers.
  • Building automation systems: Set to “unoccupied,” especially in schools and buildings that are completely empty.
  • Utilities’ online portals: Many have interactive sites to review usage. Log in to check if changes are paying off.
  • FREE energy advising: Connect with CORE
  • Peak Time Payback: Holy Cross Energy members, sign up for a new program that reduces usage when they call a critical peak time — and get money back.  

Home Checklist

PDF | JPG

  • LED lighting: Swap out old bulbs.*
  • Water heater: Wrap in an insulating blanket.
  • Hot-water pipes: Insulate in pipe wrap.
  • Thermostat*: Program to match your waking hours.
  • Air filter*: Replace your filter to keep furnace running at top efficiency.
  • Lights: Turn off when windows provide sufficient daylight.
  • Devices: Unplug from the outlet when not in use, or hook them up to an advanced power strip.
  • Heat tape: Turn off at breakers.
  • Compost food scraps. Sign up for local curbside pick-up.
  • Utilities’ online portals: Many have interactive sites to review usage. Log in to check if changes are paying off.
  • FREE energy advising: Connect with CORE.
  • Peak Time Payback: Holy Cross Energy members, sign up for a new program that reduces usage when they call a critical peak time — and get money back.

The benefits are wide-ranging. Energy-efficiency gains equal utility savings. DIY projects can be performed now while maintaining social distancing and honoring construction orders. And CORE and Holy Cross Energy continue to offer rebates and free energy advising during this time. There’s an added bonus: when the lights do come back on, so to speak, buildings with energy improvements will continue to be much more efficient and resilient, reaping financial rewards and carbon savings into the future.

*Rebates may be available from Holy Cross Energy and/or CORE. Holy Cross Members can receive instant rebates at check-out for purchases from HCEStore.com. Check with organizations to see which rebates may be available for your project

CORE logo

Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE)
111 Airport Business Center • Suite M • Aspen, CO • 81611
520 S. 3rd Street •  Suite 14 • Carbondale, CO 81623