Cutting Home Heating Bills Down to Size

For Your Information

Whether you use oil, natural gas, or electricity, there are many ways to ensure that you stay warm at home this winter without heating the great outdoors.

The Federal Trade Commission’s consumer alert “Weathering the High Cost of Heating Your Home” tells you how to select energy-efficient home appliances, spot problems that waste fuel, shop for the best price on fuel, and avoid bogus energy-saving products and services.

The FTC also has a range of other consumer-oriented publications on energy efficiency. “Heating and Cooling Your Home” addresses buying heating equipment, and explains the EnergyGuide label that is required on appliances such as furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. The label lets you know how energy-efficient a model is compared to others like it. “Home Insulation Basics: Higher R-Values = Higher Insulating Values” helps you get the most for your insulation dollar by answering basic questions about home insulation.

The FTC enforces a number of energy-related laws, including the R-value Rule, which deals with insulation, and the Appliance Labeling Rule, which covers EnergyGuide labels. To learn more, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/energy/energy.shtm.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available for more than 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FYI 2009 Home Heating)

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