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Beware of energy saving product offers

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Alexandria Light and Power (ALP) Utilities is warning residents to be cautious of energy-saving products that sound too good to be true.

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Some customers have received postcards from AE Solutions inviting them to attend a free meal for presentations for products such as reflective radiant barriers and power factor correction devices.

The literature claims that significant energy savings can be achieved with these products.

According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Division of Energy Resources (DER), the benefits associated with many such products vary greatly depending on the consumer’s home and climate, said ALP officials.

Radiant barriers consist of a reflective film installed over the top of attic insulation in existing homes.

According to DER, research indicates that attic radiant barriers are not an effective way to reduce heating or cooling loads in colder climates, including Minnesota.

Adding conventional attic insulation is a much better option for saving energy, said ALP.

Regarding power factor correction devices: Power factor is a complicated subject, however, what is important to know is that such devices offer no savings potential for residents, because the bills of residential customers are based on the amount of energy used, not on power factor.

ALP recommends that customers thoroughly research any products that claim to save energy.

“We encourage our customers to install equipment that has been tested and proven to save energy, such as ENERGY STAR qualified or AHRI Certified equipment,” said Vicki Gesell, energy services specialist with ALP Utilities. “That’s why we offer rebates for a wide variety of energy efficient equipment through our Bright Energy Solutions program.”

More information on low-cost energy saving measures can be found at:

• Minnesota DER: 800-657-3710 or 651-296-5175, or www.energy.mn.gov

• U.S. Department of Energy: www.energystar.gov

Additional information, including applications for energy-efficiency rebates offered through ALP Utilities can be found at: www.brightenergysolutions.com.

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