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Ideas for energy and money

From The Hill to the mountains

November 14, 2011
Sen. Joe Manchin - Columnist , Shepherdstown Chronicle

With winter right around the corner and colder temperatures on their way, I hope you have the time to get out and enjoy the last beautiful days of the year. Autumn in our great state is truly one of the greatest gifts we have from nature, and we are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

But I know that for many West Virginians, especially during these difficult economic times, the start of cold temperatures brings additional strains to your already tight budgets. I know that so many of you are cutting costs wherever you can and tightening your belts to live within your means.

As your elected representative, I have always said that we have to set our priorities based on our values and I believe in taking care of those who need it most: our children, our seniors and our veterans.

So as we in Washington look for ways to tighten our belt, I will fight to make sure that we preserve funding to help those in need keep their homes heated this winter season.

But while Washington engages in partisan blame and politicians drag their feet on real solutions for the American people, I want to make sure you have the tools and the knowledge to reduce your heating bills as much as possible. So while you're cutting back, I want to encourage you to prepare for heating bills with some ideas and information to save energy and keep your costs as low as possible.

The first thing that everyone should do is inspect your home and evaluate your energy consumption to make sure you're being as efficient as possible. An inspection can help you find common energy losses like leaks in the insulation or cracks in the walls and floors that allow air to escape. A close look at your monthly energy bills can also be a helpful way to identify your energy consumption patterns and potential areas for energy cost cuts.

These measures are also the first steps in investing in the long-term energy efficiency of your home. Other useful things you can do include reducing air leaks by making sure that you have proper insulation in your attic, ducts, walls and water heater. You should also consider getting tune-ups for your heating and cooling system, which not only helps to prevent expensive repairs down the road, but help cut costs by making them run moreefficiently now.

By investing in the long-term energy efficiency of your homes, I believe West Virginians can make commonsense decisions for their families and budgets, which sends a powerful message to Washington we can make the right investments in our homes and live within our means, and the federal government should, too.

I've always said that West Virginians have more commonsense in their little finger than you can find in all of Washington. Our families make the hard choices, and we balance our own budgets while prioritizing what is most important. Our federal government needs to do the same, and needs to put a high priority on what matters most: taking care of our families, our children, seniors and veterans.

Thank You. My God bless West Virginia and may God continue to bless America.



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