Best Practices

Step 1 - Assess Your Situation!

  • Got icicles? Perform a home energy and safety audit and seal up the leaks. Icicles hanging from your eaves and gutters are clear signs that your home may not be energy efficient.
  • ComEd, Nicor and a nonprofit group Elevate Energy have excellent programs for helping homeowners conduct energy and safety audits at reasonable cost. Audits are designed to locate excessive air leaks, poor insulation, and other issues that affect your home’s performance. Excellent financial incentives are available to help pay for any needed corrections. Another result of this program is that you will be assured that appliances are working properly to minimize any buildup of carbon monoxide and other indoor air pollutants. According to Elevate Energy and the Union of Concerned Scientists, this step alone can save 15 to 25 % of your heating bill.

Step 2 - Install and Properly Use a Programmable Thermostat

  • Remember when Dad came home and always turned down the heat? Cooling and heating appliances account for half of the energy used in your home. With a programmable thermostat, this can be managed by setting your thermostat up 10 degrees during the summer and down 10 degrees during the winter when you leave your home and before you go to bed. This step alone can save you as much as 15% on your cooling/heating costs annually. Even if you already have a programmable thermostat, you can save more by using it as directed, and even by making small adjustments during the day as needed.

Step 3 - Take Control of Electrical Use

  • A number of small steps will save electricity. This can be as simple as turning off the lights in unoccupied rooms. Turning off just one Thomas Edison bulb that would otherwise be lit for 8 hours a day can save as much as $18 per year. Remember, electronic devices that shut down (like TVs, DVD players, and computers) consume phantom energy. This trickling of energy can cost more than $100 per year. Plug these devices into a power strip that you can switch off.  With outdoor lighting, use timers and, better yet, motion sensors. With a motion sensor, you still have the security that lights that burn all night may provide.
  • Replace the Thomas Edison bulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs! Replacing just 5 of your most-used Thomas Edison’s can save as much as $70 per year. Just think of the savings you can achieve if you replace all of your old bulbs! For the holidays, use LED lights. Lastly, if you don’t need it, unplug that extra refrigerator or freezer. ComEd will pay you to haul it away for proper recycling. Wash dishes and clothes when the appliances are full. Also, using cold water instead of warm or hot will clean your dishes and clothes and save you as much as $76 annually. Let your dishes air dry. Use your dryer less. If you can, hang your clothes to dry outdoors during the summer and indoors during the winter. Clean your dryer vents regularly.
  • Be aware that some TVs, video game consoles, and small appliances may have high “phantom loads when not in use.  A coffee maker that has a clock burns more energy than one that just makes coffee.
  • Try to avoid portable heaters. If you need one, use an Energy Star model. Consumers’ Reports recently published ratings for energy-efficient portables. Also, lower your water heater temperature. Most are set at 140 degrees. Turning the temperature to 120 degrees will not affect your hot water output and will save you as much as $60 a year.  Lastly, during the summer, close your shades by day.  During winter, open your shades to let in sunlight, close them at night, and put warm rugs on those cold, but beautiful wood floors. When you are not using your fireplace, make sure your damper is closed.

Step 4 - Upgrade the Major Appliances

  • Consider replacing your old furnace, air conditioner and/or water heater with more energy efficient models. Replacing your old water heater with an Energy Star product can save you as much as $100 annually! In addition to replacing your old air conditioner, furnace and/or water heater, replace the old refrigerator (Com Ed will pay you to haul away the old one for recycling).
  • Look at more efficient washers and dryers and consider using more energy efficient computers, televisions and other entertainment devices. Again, Energy Star options are available. Maintain your furnace and air conditioner to keep it in good working order. Change your filters once a month or as otherwise recommended.

Step 5 - Use Less Water

  • Do you leave the water running when you brush your teeth?  Turning the water off while you brush your teeth can save more than 30 hours of water use annually. There are dozens and dozens of examples of how we use more water than we need to. Whether inside or outside, think about how much water you use and how you can use less.
  • If you have not done so already, consider using a low-flow showerhead and toilet. Low-flow fixtures can reduce your water usage up to 50% and will decrease the cost of heating that water as much as 50%! Water your yard and plants during the early morning. If your water bill is routinely in excess of $100 a month, check to see whether you may be leaking water.  A toilet may be leaking.  If so, it is flushing away your money!
Suggested Links
Village Initiatives
Village's Historical Efforts & Accomplishments
  • APA Green Power Award
  • Since 2011, the Village of Glen Ellyn has purchased, on behalf of its residents, 100% green electricity. Glen Ellyn is one of the VERY few municipalities in Illinois to commit to purchase 100% green electricity credits. Glen Ellyn has purchased this electricity at a cost less than what it would cost to purchase brown electricity. To date, Glen Ellyn has saved its residents over $1.7 Million!
  • The Village of Glen Ellyn is doing what it can to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases shown to cause global warming. Through what is known as “municipal aggregation”, Glen Ellyn can purchase 100% green electricity at a price that is probably not available to individual residents. Glen Ellyn’s purchase of 100% green electricity increases demand for wind and solar power alternatives, decreasing demand for coal-generated power. This also allows our country to be less dependent on energy from other global sources.
Bike & Walk to Glen Ellyn
  • CLICK HERE for the Village of Glen Ellyn Map!
  • CLICK HERE to view a map of bike routes in Glen Ellyn!
Prairie Path Bike Repair Station