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Local nonprofit offers energy savings initiative

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Enhabit to provide smart thermostats to 500 homes in Multnomah County.

KOIN 6 NEWS PHOTO - How smart is your thermostat?One of the leading residential retrofit programs in the country is bringing a new initiative to the region to provide smart thermostats and energy-saving devices to Gresham homes.

Enhabit, formerly known as Clean Energy Works, announced on Thursday, March 9, that its Smart Stat program will come to Multnomah County.

The nonprofit group's goal is to install 500 thermostats locally, which will provide residents up to 20 percent in savings on their energy bills.

The devices provide energy savings by allowing homeowners to control their thermostats remotely. Smart thermostats will adjust the temperature automatically based on the inhabitants' habits.

The organization will install the smart thermostat for a fee, while conducting a free home assessment.

As a bonus, Enhabit home advisers also will install a free energy savings kit containing LED light bulbs and faucet aerators through May 30 as supplies last.

Those interested should apply at www.enhabit.org/smart.

Enhabit also shares tips for Gresham residents to reduce their energy use:

• Upgrade incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting. LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer.

• Heating water accounts for approximately 15 percent of a home's energy use, making hot water the second biggest expense after heating and cooling. Replacing an old water heater can save money and energy.

• Cracks and openings in doors, windows, ceilings, walls and floors can allow air to leak into and out of your home. Sealing those cracks will cut drafts, and a modern ventilation system will circulate fresh air to keep indoor air quality high.

• Insulation is the best way to prevent heat loss. Look for areas in your attic, walls and floors that need more insulation. Ductwork should also be well insulated.

• You can manually adjust your thermostat to use less energy when you're not home.