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Susan S. Kaplan

Susan S. Kaplan

Marketing & Outreach Coordinator, Department of Energy Resources

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We’re all looking for ways to keep cool this steamy summer. But as we turn on our fans and air conditioners, we’re also increasing our bills. If you don’t want your cooling efforts to cost you a bundle, you can take some simple actions to save energy and money, and help fight climate change…while staying cool.

The U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program offers these low to no-cost energy efficient cooling tips to beat the heat.

* Program your thermostat to work around your family’s summer schedule—set it a few degrees higher (such as 78 degrees) when no one is home, so your cooling system isn’t cooling an empty house. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save you about $180 a year in energy costs.

* Check your HVAC system’s air filter every month. Change the filter if it looks dirty, and change it at least every three months. A dirty filter will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.

* Run your ceiling fan to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the room make sure to turn off the fan.

* Pull curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior. If you can, move container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.

For help with these and other energy saving actions, contact Mass Save, an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, which work closely with the Department of Energy Resources.

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As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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