Fighting high utility bill costs

PHILADELPHIA - February 27, 2014

Carolyn Holland is struggling with a worst case scenario.

Her first heating bill was more than $700 dollars, and the next month topped $1,400. The widow isn't sure how she will afford the cost.

PECO checked her meter and it appears fine. The cold is apparently testing the limits of her 18-month-old electric heat pump. The installer is investigating.

Holland explains, "They said they'd adjust it. And then they had to order some new parts. And they also came back later and put some new parts in. And then they came back later and took copies of my bill, and I haven't heard from them."

Elsewhere, the owner of one Buck's County house is taking a proactive step.

First using thermo imaging technology, The Mark Group, a British based energy conservation firm, identified and then sealed attic air leaks. Next came the installation of lightweight insulation in the attic.

The idea to slow the loss and waste of heated air through the roof, which means the furnace runs less.

Michael Talley from the Mark Group explains, "Every time that heater kicks on it's a dollar sign. So if the air stays in the home longer, and it doesn't escape as fast as it is now, you're going to run that heater less, which is naturally going to save you money."

The price for this kind of remedial work varies from house to house, but the average ranges between $1,000 and $5,000. The goal is to save the homeowner 15-30% on their energy bill per year.

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