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The twelve days of energy savings

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This is the time of year for holiday songs, specifically the catchy ones that get stuck in your head. If you are anything like me, you can only remember the first few bars of a song and the chorus. The only way I have found to get a song out of my head is to listen to it until I cannot bear the thought of listening to it again.

Until then, everything ends up with that song as a part of the theme. For example, the 12 Days of Christmas is my song this year and, as you might expect, I have been stuck on the idea of writing a post about 12 things you can do to stop wasting energy and start saving money this holiday season.

With that in mind, here are my 12 Days of Energy Efficiency:

On the first day of energy efficiency, do yourself a favor and take a free Home Energy Survey. With an investment of a few minutes, you can learn a lot about reducing your energy use while keeping your house warm.

On the second day of energy efficiency, grab your smart phone and download the DTE Insight app. If you have a smart meter and an Energy Bridge, you can see how much energy you use in real-time.

On the third day of energy efficiency, call a qualified contractor and schedule a furnace or boiler tune-up with combustion analysis. Before the really cold weather hits, this analysis will make sure your furnace or boiler is running at peak efficiency.

On the fourth day of energy efficiency, get to know ENERGY STAR®. This is especially important if you are considering giving electronics as gifts this year. For example, ENERGY STAR certified televisions are on average 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional models.

On the fifth day of energy efficiency, install a programmable thermostat. Even if you do not change the pre-programmed settings, you could save up to $180 a year.

On the sixth day of energy efficiency, check your furnace filters. Set a reminder on your phone to do this monthly. Dirty air filters make your furnace work harder to keep you comfortable.

On the seventh day of energy efficiency, close your blinds and drapes. Do this before you go to bed each night and you will be preventing heat loss through your windows.

On the eighth day of energy efficiency, check the caulk around your windows and doors. Stopping drafts helps keep you feeling warmer and your furnace from working as much.

On the ninth day of energy efficiency, invest in and install pipe wrap. It is an inexpensive project and every six feet of pipe wrap installed can save you up to $11 a year.

On the tenth day of energy efficiency, switch your holiday lights to LEDs. These can be up to 50 percent more energy efficient than their conventional incandescent peers and last 10 times longer.

On the eleventh day of energy efficiency, close your fireplace damper. When you are done roasting chestnuts and your fire is safely extinguished, make sure your damper is closed tightly.

On the twelfth day of energy efficiency, give yourself the gift of an energy efficient showerhead. It might sound odd, but you could be saving five gallons of hot water per shower by making this simple switch.

Now, what holiday song is stuck in your head?