Deb Morris: Fru-Gal

Fru-gal: Save on your winter heating bills by making your home more energy efficient now


The weather is getting colder. Now is the time to be proactive and make all of your surroundings safe and energy efficient before winter. Being energy efficient is not only better for the environment, but will save you money. There are many ways to do it that don't cost you a dime. But even spending a small amount now will save you money in the future.

Your first step should be to call LG&E or KU to schedule a home energy audit or do an online home energy analysis. This will give you a starting point on what can be done to get your home ready to save money. Just go online at to schedule. Also check out the financial incentives available to eligible customers who take action to make their homes more energy efficient as a result of an on-site analysis. Take advantage of tax credits, programs and rebates available to help you.


1. Seal up all the cracks. Take a quick walk around your home, checking the windows, doors, basement and attic for air leaks.

2. Check your insulation. The in-home insulation will measure your insulation levels to see if they are adequate. The Energy Star website has an insulation table to help you determine what the levels should be.

3. Give your furnace and air conditioner a tune-up. Running an inefficient system can result in higher monthly bills.

4. Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature when you are not home.

5. Install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can make you feel three to four degrees cooler; you can raise the thermostat and still stay comfortable.

6. Check your outside landscaping. Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.

7. Register for the "Insulation: Where, What and How" class at your local Home Depot from 10 to 11:30 a.m. this Saturday. Then on October 24 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., attend an energy saving solutions workshop. Register online.

8. Learn how compact fluorescent lamps affect our environment and are energy efficient at 1 and 6:30 p.m., on October 20 at Madison County Extension Office, 230 Duncannon Lane, Richmond. Call (859) 623-4072 to register.

Valuable rebates

1. Energy-efficient appliances can qualify for rebates. Dishwashers can qualify for up to $50, clothes washers for $75, freezers and refrigerators for $50 to $100.

2. Energy Star products can qualify, too. Air conditioning units and air source heat pumps can qualify for $100-$750 and heat pump water heaters up to $300.

3. You can get tax credits for vehicles, too. Up to $7,500 in electric cars or hybrids.

4. Recycle your older refrigerator in your basement or garage and receive $50. Apply online at or by calling 1-800-356-5467.

5. Columbia Gas is offering rebates on forced air furnaces up to $400, dual fuel furnaces up to $300, water heaters up to $300, space heaters $100, plus a few more.

6. Install high-efficiency window tinting to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home. Though more expensive, it is an alternative to replacing windows. Rebate amount is up to 50 percent of material cost with a maximum of $200 per customer account.

Other ways to save

  • A Halloween, fall crafts and recipes class is being offered from 1-2:20 p.m., and 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Fayette County Extension Office, 1140 Red Mile Place. Class is free. Call to register (859) 257-5582.
  • Town Branch Water Walks will take place Oct.11 and Nov. 8. Fayette County citizens can explore the Town Branch with hourly guided walking tours starting at the Phoenix parking lot (directly across Vine Street from the Transit Center, 101 E. Vine St.). For more information visit
  • Get a free side of ribs with purchase of any entrée $11.99 or more at Logan's Roadhouse with a printable coupon. Through Oct. 3.
  • Fresh Market at 3387 Tates Creek Road will have an event on decorating cupcakes in support of No Child Go Hungry for $3 from 1-6 p.m., Sept. 26-27.
  • Safe Kids child safety seat check will take place from 4-6 p.m., Sept. 24. Located at Imani Family Life Center, 1155 Georgetown Road. Call (859) 323-1153 to schedule.
  • Attend Batman Day at Barnes and Noble Store, 1932 Pavilion Way, at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The store will offer 20 percent off select titles from the Batman Family of products, as well as 20 percent off select Batman DVDs/BluRays. There will also be lots of giveaways and prizes. Call for more information: (859) 543-8518.
  • Through Oct. 31, Best Buy is offering 20 percent off one regular priced small kitchen appliance, floor care or personal care items of your choice with code SAVE20 at checkout.
  • Become a Triple Crown Club Member at Kentucky Blood Center for great incentives. First blood donation now until Oct. 17 and receive a Kentucky Blood Center T-shirt, donate blood December 19-29 receive two movie tickets, donate blood February 23 — 27 complete the Triple Crown Club membership and receive a Kentucky Blood Center Bluetooth speaker. Call (800) 775-2522 or visit to schedule your appointment.
  • Fill out a form online to receive a free five-tab set of Avery Index Maker Dividers. Allow 4-6 weeks for your sample to arrive.
  • Petco is offering a free booklet with savings up to 50 percent off pet food and supplies plus customized pet care tips for your pet. Bring proof of your pet adoption to your local Petco store. Offer will be available for a limited time only.
  • Join the Tommy Bahama email list and receive a coupon good for $50 off your purchase of $100 or more in store or online. Must use before October 31.
  • Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums have free admission to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The event will be held on Saturday.
  • Lowes is offering a free Build & Grow event from 10-11 a.m. Saturday. Kids can make a fire truck.
  • Through Sept. 29, Sam's Club is offering all new moms (with kids 1-year-old or younger) and moms-to-be a free annual membership. Call (888) 746-7726, choose option #2 and then tell the representative you are calling for the new mom membership offer. After providing your full name and mailing address, you will be given a membership number. Take this number to the customer service desk at your local Sam's Club and you will be issued a membership card.
  • Download Steak 'n Shake Reward app to receive a free regular milkshake ($2.99 value) with your first App purchase. Receive $5 in rewards for every $50 spent.
  • Order a regular-price pizza at and get a second pizza of equal or lesser value for free. Offer good on pickup orders only. Ends Sunday.
  • Through EyeCare America's Seniors EyeCare Program, eligible candidates receive a free comprehensive medical eye exam and up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost. The Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for people who are U.S. citizens or legal residents; age 65 and older; have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years and do not belong to an HMO or the VA.
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