There are quick and free ways to reduce your energy and water costs. For example, you can order a free water conservation kit complements of Minnesota Energy Resources, the natural gas company that serves Grand Rapids.

These kits are free to Minnesota Energy Resources customers and are shipped directly to your home. Each kit includes easy to install low-flow showerheads, kitchen and bathroom aerators, and pipe insulation. Call 866-872-0052 and press 1 for residential programs or order online at

Other ways to reduce energy costs (but still stay comfortable) include:

Turn off fans in empty rooms. It ends up fans cool people, not rooms!

Close window blinds and drapes when gone to block sunlight, but open windows at night to help cool and enjoy the extra daylight when home.

Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use or put them on power strips (and use them).

Raise the temperature of your air conditioner during the day to 78ºF and at night to 85ºF. Install (and program) a programmable thermostat to automatically manage temperatures when you are home and away.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Most energy from inefficient lighting is heat.

Use a microwave or grill to cook instead of using an oven.

Take shorter, cooler showers and use bathroom exhaust fans to alleviate humidity.

Run the dishwasher (instead of washing by hand), and use laundry machines only when full. Allow the dishes to air-dry and remove lint from the dryer.

Decrease the temperature of the water heater to 120ºF.

Stay well and enjoy your summer!

Joel Haskard

Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs)


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