Wow … what a difference a year makes, especially if your Maine home is one of the 400,000 heated with oil. According to a recent report by WABI-TV News in Bangor, as recently as May 2021, the average cost of home heating oil in Maine was $2.55 a gallon. Within 12 months, it had skyrocketed to $5.86 a gallon before falling slightly to the current average of $4.58 per gallon statewide. But that’s still up 85 percent, and that means you’re likely looking for money-saving heating options and strategies. Here are five state-of-the-art choices we recommend!
According to Efficiency Maine—the independent administrator for energy-efficiency programs in Maine—tens of thousands of heat pumps now have been installed in homes and businesses across the state. Of all the money-saving heating options in Maine, heat pumps are the most popular because they offer highly efficient heating (even when the temperature plummets to as low as -15 °F), along with air conditioning and dehumidification. To make this option even more attractive, Efficiency Maine offers heat pump rebates for residential, low-income, and commercial customers. You’ll find more information about these rebates and programs here.
Pellet and Wood Stoves
Pellet and wood stoves have become an increasingly popular and cost-effective way to heat your Maine home. They also are “greener” than fossil-fuel options because wood is considered a renewable resource. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, today’s high-efficiency pellet and wood stoves are up to 50 percent more energy efficient, produce less wood-smoke pollution, and reduce creosote build-up and the risk of chimney fires.
Typically thermostats control most of a home’s energy bill—more than lighting, electronics, and appliances combined. That means installing a SMART thermostat is, well, really smart.
A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature settings for peak energy efficiency. Tests in hundreds of Maine homes demonstrate that a smart thermostat results in an average of 8 percent heating-system run-time reduction.
2 Other Simple, Effective Strategies
If you are not quite ready to pursue one of the strategies discussed above, you can still take immediate steps to save electricity and lower your power bills. The first is to simply lower the temperature in your home.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Energy Saver” page, the best temperature to set your thermostat at is 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and lower (60 to 62 degrees) at night while you sleep.
Then, do the same with your water heater. If you’re like most people, you’ve set the thermostat too high. Lowering it by just a few degrees can save a lot of money in the long run. And you likely won’t even feel the difference!