Winter savings add up


How would you like to save 10 to 20 percent on your heating bill? The following are some suggestions on ways you can save money this winter.

When reviewing your household utility bills, who better to look to for advice than an electrician? A visit to Master Electrician Greg Willett, who is owner of the Willett Electric, produced some very helpful advice on how we can lower our utility expenses.

“Make sure you have a programmable thermostat so that you can minimize the household temperature for when you are not home or when you go to bed,” Mr. Willett suggested. “I, for example, have mine set to 65 when I go to work, then have it turned up to 68 when I arrive home in the evening.”

Keep in mind that, if you are one to keep your home consistently on the warmer side, you could potentially save 10 to 20 percent on your monthly heating bill if you modify your thermostat by just 10 degrees.

Mr. Willett also suggests: “making the switch of your light bulbs to energy-efficient ones, of which there are four different kinds: LED flood, LED, CFL, and Energy Saving Incandescent, as this can also have a large impact on your expenses. Changing your bulbs is the easiest and most affordable way to impact your energy bill, as on average six percent of your energy budget is allotted for lighting.

“For both the thermostats and energy-efficient light bulbs, I suggest visiting either Baynes Electric on State Road or Granite City Electric on Beach Road, both in Vineyard Haven. Keep in mind that there is electrical work involved in installing a new thermostat and while some DIY’ers can easily do it, if you are not sure call a professional to ensure your homes safety.”

For any questions or for help with your home’s efficiency conversion, feel free to contact Mr. Willett directly at 508-627-9438.

Another tip is getting a humidifier for your common areas, along with your bedroom, as moist air feels warmer so your dip on the thermostat won’t be as noticeable. Humidifiers can be found at our local hardware stores: Shirley’s and Ace in Vineyard Haven, Phillips in Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown Hardware and Granite in Edgartown, as well as the all-encompassing Supply New England at the Airport Business Park off of Barnes Road. In fact, Supply New England also carries lights, thermostats, and even Energy Recovery Units that will help you save energy, i.e.: money, by reducing your heating/cooling requirements.

Heading out for dinner and a movie? Why not be smart and save some money while doing so. Movies that start before 6 pm at Edgartown Cinemas are a special matinée price. Call 508-627-8008 for movie titles.

Another savings option is to make sure you have signed up for a Stop & Shop Card, not only to get great discounts on certain products, but also to collect as many points as possible to redeem for discounts on gas. For every $1 you spend, you get a point. For every 100 points you get, get 10 cents off a gallon of gas up to 36 gallons. That is a potentially huge savings each week, especially if you take advantage of their special buys that offer 100 to 400 extra points. Your gas points can be redeemed on the Island at either The Depot Mart in Edgartown on Main Street or the Shell Station on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven.

This leads us to another great discount membership program, Our Island Club, which gives discounts at stores Island-wide and has grown to include more than 175 businesses. Our Island Club offers annual memberships for individuals to families from $59 for a senior membership up to $109 for a family set of two cards (additional cards are $20), which entitles the card bearer to 10 to 20 percent off specific products or services and even 20 cents off a gallon of gas. For a full listing of participating business and their corresponding discount, along with membership information and money-saving tips, visit them on the web at or call them at 508-696-5430.

Happy savings.