For Release: 12/04/2008

MERC Offers Tips to Save Heating Costs

Rosemount, MN – With another winter season bearing down, Minnesota Energy Resources, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG), offers some energy savings and heating cost tips to customers.

For example, using a natural gas stove or dryer can save about three times the energy than using electric appliances. In addition, a natural gas stove offers more accurate cooking temperatures.

Nearly everyone can reduce the amount of natural gas they use by taking a few simple and cost-effective steps:

Preventing even the smallest of leaks decreases energy consumption and lowers your bills. A typical home loses a houseful of warm air every hour. Making an effort to prevent heat loss can reduce energy bills by as much as 10 percent. Common areas for leaks are where walls meet floors and ceilings, where plumbing or ductwork enters a wall, around doors and windows and even through electrical outlets. Caulk and weather-stripping are sufficient for sealing most leaks. To stop air from exiting through wall outlets, you can install an insulating material found at most hardware stores. If you have a fireplace or fans and vents that exit to the outside, make sure they're closed and covered for the winter season.

Other weatherproofing tips include:

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