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Cool off and save energy with these five summertime tips from Energy Trust of Oregon

Nonprofit offers resources to help Oregonians save on energy bills and keep cool this summer

PORTLAND, Ore. — July 29, 2014 — Hot summer days are here, and many Oregonians may feel their homes and energy bills heating up. Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit helping customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save energy and money, is offering some easy ways to help keep energy costs at bay and improve comfort this season.

“While the summer sun heats up outside, your energy bill doesn’t have to,” said Marshall Johnson, residential program manager, Energy Trust. “Energy Trust is here to help with free, personalized advice, connections to local trade ally contractors and cash incentives for energy-saving home improvements that offer benefits year-round.”

For quick ways to save during the hot summer days, Energy Trust offers the following tips. Homeowners who are ready to make long-term improvements can visit Energy Trust’s website to complete a Home Energy Profile to see how efficient their home is now and review a customized list of energy-saving opportunities.

Five tips to cool off and save

1) Power down to cool off

  • Home appliances, electronics and standard light bulbs create heat when they’re on. The less you use them on a hot day, the cooler you’ll be.
  • Skip the oven and use the microwave, cook on the stovetop or grill outside.
  • Wait until you have a full load to run your clothes washer and dishwasher, and run them in the evening when it’s cooler. Let dishes air dry, wash clothes in cold water and hang them outside to dry if you can.

2) Use windows strategically

  • Windows allow heat in when they’re open or uncovered during the day. Close windows, blinds, shades or curtains to keep heat outside. Light-colored window coverings help reflect heat away.
  • When temperatures drop, open your windows and doors to draw in cooler air at night or early in the morning.
  • Shield windows from the outside with blinds, awnings or shutters and plant trees or tall shrubs to filter sunlight before it enters your house.

3) Join the fan club

  • Use fans to keep air moving and help you feel cooler. They create a breeze that pulls perspiration away from your body.
  • A fan in the window can pull cool air in and draw warm air out. Try using a box or window-mounted fan on the shady side of your house to draw in cool air. A second fan on the opposite side of the house can blow hot air out.
  • If you use air conditioning, a fan can allow you to raise the thermostat setting and still stay comfortable. If you buy a new ceiling fan, choose an ENERGY STAR® qualified one (available as a light/fan combination).

4) Keep hot air out and cool air in

  • Sealing air leaks and insulating your home can reduce cooling and heating costs while making your home more comfortable all year long.
  • Check for leaky windows and doors, as well as holes or cracks hidden in attics, basements and crawlspaces. Seal them with caulk, spray foam or weatherstripping.
  • Add insulation, but seal air leaks first. Leaks make insulation less effective.

5) Make the most of air conditioning

  • Set the air conditioner or heat pump thermostat a few degrees higher than normal when no one is home. When you are home, set the thermostat to 72-75 degrees.
  • Place electronics and lamps with conventional bulbs away from the thermostat. The heat they produce can cause the air conditioner to work harder than necessary.
  • Check the system air filter regularly and change it when it looks dirty. A dirty filter makes the system work less efficiently and reduces air flow. Service the system each year.

To complete an online Home Energy Profile and find out about incentives and connections to trade ally contractors available from Energy Trust, visit or call 1-866-368-7878. Customers of PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas in Oregon, and NW Natural customers in Washington, are eligible for Energy Trust incentives and services.

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $1.7 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.

Category: Residential