Do It Yourself Resources

Energy Hero Tip of the Month

Why should I care about my home’s Building Envelope?


Understanding your home’s Building Envelope is a critical component to controlling your energy costs.


It is the physical barrier that separates the unconditioned space from the conditioned space of your home.  This barrier needs to be resistant to hot and cold air, moisture, light, and noise.


A properly defined and insulated Building Envelope is critical for your comfort and the energy efficiency of your home.


In today’s home building we strive to “build it tight and ventilate it right”.   This method helps prevent your home’s heating and cooling systems from fighting the exterior temperature.  It also reduces the “drafty” feeling in your home and lowers the chance of mold or mildew growth.  A “tight” Building Envelope, with a well-designed ventilation system uses less energy and gives better control over your home’s temperature, air quality, and humidity levels.


YVEA’s Energy Hero Program has a series of DIY resources available on our website to help you identify and define your home’s unique Building Envelope.  You can also contact Mike Beyer at 970.871.2267 for more information.






The area inside the red dotted line represents the space that is conditioned.  A well-insulated home should be air sealed and have insulation around the exterior of all conditioned spaces. 

YVEA offers Energy Assessment Rebates for residential and commercial Energy Assessments. A limited number of Energy Assessment Rebates are available for all members in the YVEA service territory.

Fill out the Energy Assessment Rebate Form to receive a $150 bill credit and up to 10 free LED bulbs

All Energy Assessment rebates must be performed by a certified professional. Members must provide the assessment report.

Smart thermostats are now available for line voltage electric heating

Check out the Mysa smart thermostat to see how much you can save.

A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance and savings.

  1. Set your schedule: Smart thermostats aim to learn your schedule, but you can help it out by setting your schedule via its interface or web app.  Over the next week or so, you and your new thermostat will work together to create the right program for your home.
  2. Start Saving: The Department of Energy estimates savings of about 1 percent for each degree of thermostat adjustment per 8 hours and recommends turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day to achieve annual savings of up to 10%.
  3. Go low: Smart thermostats steer you towards energy efficient temperatures, but you can save even more money by finding ways to keep yourself warm while the house stays cooler. Bundle up and enjoy the savings!
  4. Adjust your temperature: When you’re not following your typical weekly schedule, remember to adjust your temperature accordingly via the companion app.
  5. Use the companion app and web portal: The app is an extension of your thermostat! Use it to lower the temp when you step out for a few hours of errands or coming home later than your usual schedule.
  6. Set up vacations:  Use the vacation feature on smart thermostats to easily lower the heat while you’re away.  (Be careful – if frozen pipes are a risk in your area, keep your “away” temperature around 55 degrees).
  7. Analyze your energy use: Look at the monthly reports to see how you did. Try to beat your previous month – and other users in your area!

Trim your holiday energy costs by choosing energy efficient LED lights this holiday season

LED Holiday Lights:

  • Are more energy efficient.  They consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • Last longer.  LED’s last approximately 50,000 hours. Compared to 1,000 hours for standard bulbs.
  • Are safer.  LED lights remain cool to the touch even when on for hours. In contrast, traditional holiday lights become hot to the touch after they’ve been lit for several hours. This may lead to a risk of house fires.
  • Remember to limit the number of connected strings to the manufacturer’s recommendations and do not overload your outlets.
  • Never install lights with broken bulbs.
  • Use the right ladder for the job.
  • Make sure the bulbs you use are UL listed. Outdoor bulbs must be rated for external use.
  • Use the correct extension cords.

Remember to visit the website for more energy saving ideas.

Many members in our cold climate use heat tape to prevent ice from forming on roofs and gutters and to prevent pipes from freezing. Yet, most members do not realize how these increase their electric bills

In our cold climate, heat tape is one of the top five high energy user. Heat tape consumes energy based on its wattage and length. 100’ of heat tape can use up to 30 kWh per day, which equals 900 kWh per month and can add up to $84 to your monthly electric bill.

Wait until the first snow to energize heat tape, mark your calendar to turn off your heat tape at the end of the winter season. To reduce the energy usage of heat tape, do not run it continuously. YVEA recommends installing timers on all heat tape circuits. Operate them from 6 am to 6 pm. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the best time to run heat tape is during the day. 

To learn how to avoid the need for heat tape all together and other tips on how to fight energy waste visit


Space Heater kWh Usage
A portable space heater can use as much as 36 kWh per day.
That equals 1,080 kWh per month.
Remember to unplug when not in use.

Heat Tape kWh Usage
Just 100 feet of heat tape can use as much as 30 kWh per day.
That equals 900 kWh per month.
YVEA recommends setting hourly timers to run from daylight hours 6 a.m. to
6 p.m. to be most effective.

Electric Baseboard Heater kWh Usage
One 6-foot electric baseboard heater can use as much as 36 kWh per day.
That equals 1,080 kWh per month.
Leave thermostat at a consistent temperature; do not turn up and down.

Smart thermostats are now available for

line voltage electric heating

Check out the Mysa smart thermostat to see how much you can save.

A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance and savings.

  • Set your
  • Start Saving
  • Go low
  • Adjust your temperature: 
  • Use the companion app and web portal: 
  • Set up vacations:  
  • Analyze your energy use

For more information visit the YVEA website for more about smart thermostats and Energy Hero rebates on programmable thermostats at


Space heating uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home, typically making up about 45 to 55% of your utility bill.

Follow these tips to help you manage the amount of kilowatt hours your electric resistive heaters use.

  • Use programmable thermostats.
  • Limit the use of space heaters and turn them off when you are not home.
  • Make sure you seal all air leaks and your home is well insulated.
  • Install window film, honeycomb blinds or drapes on all windows.
  • Visit: for more tips.

Your washer and dryer account for approximately 13% of your utility bill.

Washers: 90% of the energy used during washing is for heating the water

  • Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees
  • Use cold or warm water instead of hot for washing
  • Use cold water on all rinse cycles
  • Use high efficiency detergents
  • Use the fastest spin cycle
  • Avoid the sanitary cycle

Dryers: Account for approximately 6% of residential electricity use

  • Clean the lint filter after every load
  • Regularly clean the dryer duct
  • Dry like items together
  • Use the “auto” not “timed” drying cycles
  • Select a model with a moisture sensor

Visit: for more tips.

It’s a great time to be smart about how your devices use energy.  Being energy aware with your devices means decreasing their standby power loss (also called phantom load) when you are not using them.  Here are some tips on how to do that:

  1. Unplug your devices: If you do not use an appliance or device often unplug them until the next time you need to use it.
  2. Use Power Strips: This allows you to control power usage of multiple devices with the flip of one switch. Also check out Advanced Power Strips. They make it easy by turning off idle electronics for you.
  3. Turn your device off: Turn off your device rather than leaving it in idle or sleep mode.
  4. Make Smart Upgrades: Consider purchasing Energy Star appliances. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and use less energy year-round.

Visit: for more tips.


An electric water heater uses approximately 14 kWh hours per day.

That equals 405 kWh per month.

This equates to approximately $38 on your monthly electric bill.


Save energy and money by lowering your water heater thermostats to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will also slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes.

Consider insulating your water heater tank, which could reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent and save you about 4 to 9 percent in water heating costs. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $20.




Summer Energy Savings

While our YVEA service territory is known as an outdoor paradise with moderate temperatures and lots of sunshine, summers can get warm during the day. Stay cool and comfortable this summer with these no-cost and low-cost energy efficiency tips.

  • Close blinds and drapes during the day to keep heat out.
  • If you have air conditioning, set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home. Set it to a higher temperature when you are away.
  • Turn off lights, ceiling fans and any portable fans when you leave a room.
  • Plant trees and shrubs to shade the exterior of your home.
  • Use solar lighting to brighten up your outdoor space. It’s low maintenance and uses the sun to generate electricity.