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As the nation has endured subfreezing temperatures this week and consumers are putting their thermostats to work, it might be a good idea to check in and see how efficient your heating system is running.

1F97_0671_Emerson_clipIn Massachusetts, MassSave, a statewide program sponsored by Massachusetts energy companies,  supports consumers interested in making their homes more energy efficient. One of the ways MassSave can help you save money on your energy bill is by providing you with a free programmable thermostat as part of their Home Energy Assessment service. At no cost, a MassSave representative will visit you, evaluate your home’s energy efficiency, and help you get started saving money and energy.

Getting a programmable thermostat through MassSave is a great deal. These devices can adjust your thermostat automatically at times when you and your family need less heat. They can be programmed to lower the heat at night when everyone is asleep or at times during the day when you are out and your children are in school. It’s easy to forget to make these adjustments yourself and leaving the heat on when no one is around to use it is wasteful and will run up your energy costs. Consumer Reports has found that a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 a year onyour energy bills.

Besides providing you with a programmable thermostat, MassSave can also install low-energy compact fluorescent light bulbs, water saving devices for washers and plumbing, and insulation and air sealing materials. Their services can all help lower your energy bills each month and make your home a more comfortable place.

If you would like more information about a Home Energy Assessment, contact MassSave at 866-527-SAVE. As always, if you have any consumer questions, you can contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation hotline at (888) 283-3757 and visit our website at www.mass.gov/consumer.

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Paul Bologna is a student at Northeastern University and is a communications co-op at the Office of Consumer Affairs.

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