The Casanova Family, in Plano, entered the TXU Power Saver Challenge and won $25,000.
The Casanovas had to make their home more energy efficient and make energy saving changes to their every day routines.
“One day we were paying our bill on line and they had a web link to enter a contest...it's a lot of work to do this, but its going to pay off”, said Bill Casanova. He got the entire family involved in making energy saving improvements.
Casanova started his work in the attic. He pulled out all of the old insulation and covered it with foam board. To recycle the old insulation, he used it to cover the water heater.
Improvements were also made in the living room. “We sealed around the fireplace to make sure there was no air lost through there,” said Casanova.
Upstairs, he replaced the trap door to the attic and insulated it. Outside, he caulked the windows and improved the ventilation to the outside vents.
All of these improvements were made in spots where air could escape. The goal was to keep the hot and cold air either from entering or exiting the house.
Casanova’s son Billy helped to prevent air loss in the light sockets and replaced all of the light bulbs in the house, with new energy efficient bulbs.
Daughter Natalie covered all of the windows with a low-E Film. “You can’t really feel a lot of heat, its definitely a big difference, its not warm to the touch, ” said Natalie. The purpose of covering the windows is to prevent the hot or cold air outside from getting into the house.
The Casanova family made changes to their every day routine. “I used to take like 30 minute showers”, said Joey Casanova. He now takes shorter showers, “ I use this timer, I set it for like 10 minutes, when it goes off, I get out”.
The family purchased a new energy efficient refrigerator. “It has an alarm, where if you leave the door open by accident, it goes off” said Elvy Casanova.
To keep track the families’ energy usage, the Casanova’s have a TXU Power Monitor. “It’s a device that helps the customer know exactly how much energy they are using in real time,” said Sophia Stoller, TXU Spokesperson. “It converts (the energy consumption) it into how much money they are using”.
In all, the Casanova family made more than 30 changes to their house. Not only is the family saving energy, they are also saving money. Prior to the changes, their electric bill was more than $600, now their bill is around $250.