Five Things to ‘Focus’ on this Fall

The Journal Times


In between watching football and foliage this fall, it’s also time to prepare for what comes next.

Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program helps eligible homeowners lower their energy bills and improve home comfort with financial incentives and technical support. These five tips will help keep homes warm and reduce energy waste before winter arrives.

1. Get a home performance with ENERGY STAR Assessment

Consider it a physical for your home.

One of Focus on Energy’s participating Trade Ally contractors will perform a visual examination of your home that includes a blower door test that exposes where air (and money) are slipping through the cracks. Trade Ally contractors also perform a combustion safety check to ensure proper ventilation for added health and safety.

Proper air sealing and insulation is one of the most basic and important steps you can take to achieve year-round comfort while lowering energy costs. Most homes can benefit from additional insulation in the attic, exterior walls, overhangs, sill boxes or the foundation.

Home energy assessments include a customized report with recommendations unique to your home, as well as a Home Energy Score. The Home Energy Score provides an easy-to-understand 1-to-10 score of your home’s energy efficiency.

Cash incentives are available for eligible home improvements (up to $2,250). Assess your home’s eligibility with a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor. Get started at or by calling 800-762-7077.

2. Check or replace your furnace

Oil-fired systems need annual maintenance. Gas systems and heat pumps typically need a checkup every two years. A new filter is a fast and inexpensive way toward maintaining the efficiency of your furnace and controlling your heating bills.

Heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of the average home’s energy usage. It might be time for an upgrade if your furnace is unreliable, inefficient or over 15 years old. Focus on Energy offers eligible homeowners incentives on heating and cooling improvements.

Be sure to work with one of our Trade Ally contractors with Focus on Energy. To find a qualified contractor, visit

Once projects are complete, submit your incentive application with 60 days of installation. Applications and complete details are available at

3. Get a smart thermostat

Lower the heat as you leave for the day and before going to bed. It costs less to heat up a house as needed than to always keep it warm. Smart thermostats learn your schedule and can turn down the heat and warm the house for you, saving you time and money.

A smart thermostat saves up to $120 annually and typically pays for itself in two years. You’ll save even more with a $75 Smart Thermostat Incentive from Focus on Energy. Learn more at

4. Do your homework before appliance shopping

If you’re buying new appliances or home electronics, look for the Energy Star label to find the most energy-efficient, high-quality models on the market. Smart shopping is made easier thanks to Focus on Energy’s online Appliance Marketplace.

Focus on Energy has partnered with Energy Star and participating retailers to make high-performing, high-quality products more affordable. That means you’ll save on your purchase, reduce energy waste, and save energy and money year after year. Learn more at

Did you know retiring your old refrigerator or freezer can earn you cash? Focus on Energy’s Appliance Recycling Program will pick up your old, working refrigerator or freezer for free, responsibly recycle it, and send you $35.

Getting rid of an inefficient refrigerator or freezer can also save $150 per year on your electric bill. Schedule your free pick up by visiting or call 800-354-1898.

5. Get a free energy-saving pack

Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program is offering free packs of energy-saving products to customers of participating Wisconsin utilities.

These energy-saving packs include items such as light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs, high-efficiency showerheads, water-saving bathroom faucet aerators and showerheads, pipe insulation, and advanced power strips for home entertainment centers and office areas.

Choose which of the six energy packs best suit your home at Products can also be ordered by calling 800-230-4701.

Participants must be residents of single-family homes or multifamily residences of three or fewer units. Those in apartments or condos with four or more until will be eligible in January 2018.

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