Phyllis Theermann

Vacation is a great opportunity to reduce your home energy use and save some money! Many of the setting and use changes can be maintained even after returning home!

Air conditioner: Turn off your air conditioner while you are away – your house won’t mind the heat. When you return try adjusting the thermostat to higher temperatures for lower energy and more efficient operation.

Water heater: Lower the temperature of the hot water heater to the lowest setting. Many have a simple knob. If your water temperature is too hot to keep your hands in then the setting was too high and can be adjusted lower when you return. Learn more here.

Lights: Install timers on any lights which will be on while away. Make sure that these lights have been updated to LED or CFL bulbs. Learn more here.

Refrigerator: Your refrigerator is one of the big energy users. If you have 2 refrigerators consider consolidating into one. When you return, see if you can make it until the holidays without starting the second refrigerator. Learn more here.

Electronics: Many of our gadgets and devices continue to use electricity when “off”. Added together couple of Cable TV boxes use comparable energy to a refrigerator. Unplug all computer, entertainment and charging electronic devices when you leave. When you return, only plug electronics as needed. Learn more here.

Don’t forget to use energy responsibly while on vacation too by shutting off lights and reusing / hanging towels.

Phyllis Theermann

Learn More About Impressive ROI, Trendy, Successful Wellesley MORE Power to Choose SUN Program at Upcoming 3 Open Houses

allegro solar photoResidents are moving quick to sign up for solar before the August 31 deadline. Signing up for solar before this date enables them to have their panels installed before the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant solar rebate expires on December 31st (panels need to be installed by that date) and in time to get 2014 tax credits. Reserve your no-obligation estimate by going to

With a very impressive ROI, many Wellesley residents are investing in solar.

“As new parents, it was important to us to create a healthy environment for our son,” said Jo Kaplan Lee, new solar owner and partner of Wellesley’s Allegro Photography. “The economics and ease of installing solar in Wellesley will allow us to sleep a little better at night knowing we are working to provide a healthier environment for our family, and our community,” Lee said proudly.

The trendy, Wellesley MORE Power to Choose SUN program has been so successful this summer, there are many open houses to allow other residents to talk to installers and locals and see the installations happening live. Please put these open house dates in your calendar:

Saturday, Aug 2: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – 11 Stanford Road

Saturday, Aug 9: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – 9 Crown Ridge Road

Wednesday, Aug 20: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM – 12 Granite Street

The 2014 state average solar costs are expected to increase based on new tariffs on some imported solar panels. For “solar suitable” homes, the financials under the current Wellesley discount combined with Federal, State and local incentives are very attractive at this moment in time. Also, the time-limited Wellesley solar price is around 30% below the state average*!

The MORE Power to Choose program is run by Wellesley volunteers and sponsored by the Town of Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee. The solar portion of this program offers discounted group pricing from installer partner Astrum Solar along with a rebate from Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant and generous state and federal incentives. Find out how easy and affordable it is to install panels on your home and produce your own electricity. By going solar you help the environment and your community, while saving on your electric bills. This program is working to lower the carbon footprint of the Town of Wellesley and setting a standard for the future of our town.

The overall MORE Power to Choose program provides residents opportunities to meet their individual goals of personal responsibility and engagement. Whether you are fully vested in living a green life or are interested in taking small initial steps, the More Power to Choose campaign allows residents to participate at their own pace.

(* based on MassCEC data on installers and costs updated on 4-24-2014)

Phyllis Theermann

Energy_star_Lighting_GraphicThis week’s challenge is to get rid of all your remaining incandescent light bulbs and be part of an even BIGGER challenge from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA is asking retailers to sell 20 million ENERGY STAR certified LEDs by Earth Day on April 22, 2014, AND help show customers how to save energy, save money and prevent climate change with their lighting choices.

Here are 7 reasons GREAT reasons that the EPA suggests we change our bulbs to an ENERGY STAR certified LED:

“1.)    Energy Savings: ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs use 70-90% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb.

2.)    Money Savings: A single ENERGY STAR certified LED can save more than $135 in electricity costs over its lifetime.

3.)    Affordability: The prices for ENERGY STAR certified LEDs are dropping big time—as low as $5 per bulb with in-store rebates.

4.)    Long Lasting: ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs now look and light more like traditional bulbs, but can last 25 times longer—over 20 years total with typical use.

5.)    Quality and Performance: An ENERGY STAR certified bulb will give you the best LED experience. Only bulbs with the ENERGY STAR are independently certified, undergoing extensive testing to assure that they perform as promised.  To earn the ENERGY STAR, these bulbs must demonstrate that they will meet consumer expectations by delivering on brightness and producing light in all directions.

6.)    Peace of Mind: ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs carry a three-year warranty.

7.)    Environmental Protection: By replacing 20 million traditional incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, this country would save more than $118 million each year in energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of more than 150,000 vehicles”


feit lightblubOne Sustainable Wellesley member recommends the Feit Electric BR30 Flood lights. These 65W equivalent recessed ceiling LED light bulbs are available at many local retailers have a great color temperature, are instant on, dim well, and fit perfectly in standard recessed cans. They were $7.99/bulb after instant discount. We figure that is a 4.5 year payback, if one replaces incandescent and have them on just 30 – 45 minutes per day.

Feel free to send us an email or message on Facebook with your recommendations!