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New York - October 23rd, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — If you think gas was expensive this summer, wait until your home energy bills arrive this winter, as heating oil and natural gas prices continue to skyrocket and electricity usage increases. What's the average consumer to do to hold down costs to a more reasonable level while retaining comfort? The answer can be summed up in two words – Energy Efficiency. It produces three benefits at once – cuts energy costs and air pollution while increasing home comfort. However, there are measures that everyone can take to not only help cut energy bills, but also keep green this winter.

"Homes and buildings are the No. 1 user of energy – more than industry or transportation. A properly insulated home can help save up to 20 percent on heating bills this winter. An easy place to start is your attic which can lose up to 40 percent of your homes heat. If you can see the wood beams (joists) of your attic floor, you need more insulation. The DOE recommends up to an R-value of 60 for attics – which is about 19 inches of fiberglass batt insulation or 22 inches of blown insulation. You can log on to for step-by-step guides on adding insulation like the PINK insulation, which contains 40% certified recycled content," says Martin Amado, nationally recognized interior designer and decorator and HGTV decorator.

"Even during the cooler weather months, when Americans use more power to heat their homes, propane remains an environmentally friendly energy source that ensures homeowners stay warm all winter long," says Amado. "Propane offers consumers more efficient energy with fewer emissions than other energy sources; for example, propane furnaces can reach a peak efficiency of more than 95 percent compared to 85 percent for home fuel oil. Propane-fueled appliances leave a smaller carbon footprint than electric counterparts. Electric water heaters emit 2.5 times more greenhouse gases than propane water heaters. And, tankless water heaters can reduce wasted standby energy by up to 20 percent. Ultra efficient gas heating equipment can be used in an array of heating applications, such as forced air and in-floor systems."

"One simple but effective tip that many consumers don't know about is to wash their clothes in cold water. The most energy intensive part of doing laundry is heating the water. Washing in cold water can save the average family up to $70 a year on their energy bills. In order to ensure you are getting your clothes clean, be sure to use a cold water compatible detergent such as Tide Coldwater, which is formulated specially to be most effective in cold water conditions. By using Tide Coldwater for every load, consumers will not only help reduce their energy costs, but they will also keep both colors and whites bright and looking like new. Consumers can also visit to access further energy-saving tips and important tools that will help them learn smart ways to save money around their homes," says Amado.