Propane Industry Offers Valuable Tips for Keeping Winter Energy Costs Down

Energy Saving Tips Help Consumers Stay Warm and Informed

Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2005) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) today released important energy saving tips for American homeowners affected by rising fuel costs. There are several simple steps, both short-term and long-term, that consumers can follow to lower their energy bills this winter.

“Americans are not powerless when it comes to their energy bills,” said Randy Chitty, chairman of the Propane Education & Research Council’s Homeowner Subcommittee. “A few small changes before and during the cold weather season really can make a big difference.”

Energy Saving Tips Consumers Should Pursue Now:

  1. Inspect and tune-up your residential heating system regularly. A heating system that runs well is more efficient and will save you money.
  2. Invest in a furnace thermostat timer that lowers your home’s temperature when you are not at home. You can cut annual heating bills by as much as 10 percent per year by turning your thermostat back 10-15 percent for eight hours per day.
  3. Protect against drafts by caulking and weather-stripping around windows, doors and other openings such as ducts, fans and vents.
  4. Install flow-restricting showerheads. You can reduce hot water usage by up to 50 percent without affecting shower pressure.
  5. Consider switching to a propane water heater. Over time, propane water heaters can cost up to one-third less to operate and they recover hot water twice as quickly as electric water heaters.
  6. Discuss payment plan options with your propane retailer. Many retailers have budget payment plans that will help you spread your projected annual cost of propane over many months, lowering the costs of seasonally higher bills.

Energy Saving Tips Consumers Should Follow Throughout the Cold Weather Season:

  1.  Change your furnace filter monthly. Clean filters will increase efficiency. If on a monthly payment plan, use receipt of your monthly propane bill as a reminder
  2. Run washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers with a full load.
  3. Turn down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees. You could save more than 10 percent on your water heating bill.
  4. Increase your water heater’s efficiency by draining it every six months to remove mineral deposits and sediment.

For additional information about energy saving tips and propane heating appliances, please visit

Sources: Propane Education & Research Council, National Propane Gas Association, American Gas Association and the U.S. Department of Energy.