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Archive for November, 2010

Nicor’s Energy Efficiency Program

Did you know in May, Nicor began an Energy Efficiency Program, which allows consumers of Nicor Gas to save energy and money? The programs are available for residential and business customers. Through the Residential Customer program, Nicor proivdes customers with energy education and resources, and rebates on qualifying natural gas products such as water heaters and furnaces. For more information visit:  Nicor Gas Rebates ( or

By MPPL on November 19, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices, Energy

Conventional Turkey vs. Organic Turkey

Do you plan on making a turkey this year for Thanksgiving dinner? Did you know that poultry in the United States is not allowed to receive hormones, but that conventional turkeys may receive antibiotics and animal byproducts, and one of the common “growth promoters” given to turkeys can result in arsenic being harbored in the turkey’s liver? Conventional turkeys labeled as “self-basting” are often injected with butter or fat, broth, water, and other seasonings to help make them
flavorful. If you want to avoid these ingredients, or control what you are putting into or on your turkey, consider buying an organic bird. If you want to spend a little extra money, look for a “heritage turkey” which is descended from early domesticated turkeys and full of flavor.

For more information on selecting and cooking your holiday turkey, or to locate a nearby farm, visit:
Consumer Reports Greener Choices “Talking Turkey”
Eat Well Guide
Local Harvest
Heritage Turkey Foundation

By MPPL on November 17, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices, Holidays

Holiday Lights Recycling

Bring in your working or non-working incandescent holiday lights into Home Depot between November 4-14 for safe recycling, and receive a $3 off coupon on energy star LED lights.

By MPPL on November 10, 2010 Categories: Holidays, Recycling

Tips for Making Your Furnance Run Better, More Efficiently and Green

•Add programmable thermostats so the furnace doesn’t work as hard while you’re away but kicks back in before you get home. In most homes, you can reduce your heating bill about two percent for each degree that you lower the thermostat for at least eight hours each day.

•Insulate your boiler with a jacket.

•Clean or replace air filters regularly.

•Clean registers and make sure they’re not blocked by furniture.

•Bleed radiators properly.

•Tune up your burner every one to three years, depending on what kind of system you have. That will keep your system running well, cut heating costs, and reduce the pollutants that seep into your home.

•Seal furnace ducts to keep them from leaking hot air or circulating dust.

•Line your chimney. High-efficiency units produce an acidic exhaust gas that should be vented only through a properly lined chimney (or through a separate duct). Reline your chimney whenever you replace an old furnace or boiler with a more efficient one, as the new unit may create more corrosive exhaust.

•Keep it up. High-efficiency units produce an acidic exhaust gas that should be vented only through a properly lined chimney (or through a separate duct).

Remember, any improvements you do around the house—from installing efficient windows to adding insulation—can help your furnace to work more efficiently. Even a tree maturing outside a window can have a positive effect. Assess the situation from time to time, and you may realize that you could use an even smaller furnace.

By MPPL on Categories: Cold Weather, Consumer Choices, Energy