Tips to Help Realize Your Goals in the Year Ahead

At the dawn of a new year, many people set goals to motivate themselves to change. But as January 1 drifts further into the rearview mirror, it can be easy to settle into old habits and forget about the resolutions and goals established at the turn of the calendar. Staying on course and achieving one’s goals requires discipline. In addition to working hard, people who want to realize their goals in the year ahead can take several steps to increase their chances of being successful.

  • Examine your priorities. Achieving goals is easier when the goals can be among your biggest priorities. Examine your priorities to determine if you can fully commit to goals that may require significant time commitments. People who are already stretched thin may need to recalibrate their goals or make changes in other areas of their lives before they can fully commit to pursuing new goals.
  • Be specific in regard to planning. Being specific when choosing goals is important, but it’s equally important to be as specific as possible in regard to developing a plan to realize those goals. Figure out how you’re going to achieve these goals; create a new daily or weekly schedule that allots time toward your goals.
  • Make note of potential obstacles. Recognizing potential hurdles in advance of their appearance can help you overcome them and stay the course toward achieving your goals. For example, people hoping to lose weight can look ahead to occasions that might compromise their efforts, such as a wedding or backyard barbecue. Recognizing these obstacles gives you a chance to develop a plan to overcome them. In the weight loss example, you can choose vegetarian options from reception menus or resolve to avoid alcohol, which tends to be high in calories.
  • Start small, but start immediately. Lifestyle changes can be difficult, so make small changes initially and gradually work toward larger, more significant ones. Starting small can lay a successful foundation, but it’s important to start immediately. Procrastination can reduce the likelihood of achieving your goals and the earlier you get started the more quickly you will adjust to the changes necessary to realize your goals.

The dawn of a new year is a great time to set new goals. Bringing those goals to fruition requires careful planning and commitment.

Learn to Break the Procrastination Habit

Procrastination is more a symptom of emotions rather than a problem of poor time management. Experts in the field of psychology say that even though procrastinating may temporarily relieve anxiety or unpleasant feelings, procrastinating ultimately can increase negative feelings. The idiom, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” has been credited to many people, including Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde. Regardless of who first uttered the phrase, it still rings true. Many people are guilty of procrastinating, which can affect their productivity and various other areas of their lives.

Procrastination can sometimes be a good thing, giving a person time to think through decisions more thoroughly instead of acting impulsively. Waiting to do something until a deadline looms also may motivate a person to work harder to complete the task at hand. Yet chronic procrastination can be a problem that affects one’s job performance, academic success, and general state of mind.

Psychology Today says that procrastinating is often done to temporarily reduce a person’s anxiety about a task or alleviate boredom or negative feelings toward the work at hand. Resolving to stop pushing tasks into the future can be a worthwhile goal, but it’s difficult. “To tell a chronic procrastinator to ‘just do it’ would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, ‘cheer up’,” said Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University.

Individuals Can Instead Employ These Strategies To Get Focused:

• Set deadlines. Open-ended time frames for getting things done may be a procrastinator’s worst enemy. Setting deadlines can provide the inspiration needed to get things done. Set reminders to help stay on task.

• Seek cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT is a common type of talk therapy that is used as a tool in treating various mental health conditions and other situations. CBT helps a person become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking to change a view on challenging situations, says the Mayo Clinic. This way one can respond to them in a more effective way.

• Identify feelings. Identifying why a person is procrastinating can help them get past the block. Fear, change, sadness, or lack of experience may be behind a person’s tendency to procrastinate. Identifying the cause can help men and women overcome this hurdle.

• Break down the task. Dividing a challenging task into a handful of smaller tasks can make it easier to complete the project. Reward little successes, which will eventually add up to a big success.

• Keep distractions at bay. Remove distractions from the environment so they can’t be used as a procrastination crutch.

Over time, people can break the habit of procrastination and become more efficient and successful.

Fundamentals of Getting Your Website Online

The process of getting a website online has never been easier and more complicated than it is now. There are so many options to help you get a site online that it can be overwhelming. One of the biggest pain points my clients have is understanding all of the moving parts that are needed to getting and keeping a site online.

This isn’t unique to new website owners, but also to those that already have an existing website. Untangling what was done to get their site online can often be an impediment to growing an existing site. Small business owners, freelancers and those in the ‘gig-economy’ that find themselves in need of an online presence beyond social media are tasked once again at wearing another hat that may not fit well with their skillset.

Before you have a conversation with any developer you should have a basic understanding of two things I always talk to clients and potential clients about. 

1. You should always register your domain name yourself. This is the single most important piece of advise I can pass along to clients. Owning your domain, as in registering it yourself, is crucial. Having it in your name allows you to control what you do with it, what is displayed when people type it into their browser, and gives you complete control of your website for as long as you own that domain name.

2. Web hosting comes in many forms. A ‘web host’ is someone that maintains or has access to maintain a server that your website is stored on and served to the internet from. There are a lot of options, free and paid, when it comes to hosting a website. There are also advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing the right hosting company.

It can be complicated, but it shouldn’t have to be. Understanding these basic concepts and working with a developer (not a designer) that understands both them and your needs can make getting your project online a breeze and ensures that your existing site has a solid foundation for success. If your website needs a facelift or complete re-do, give us a call. We’d love to help!

Dominion Energy Ohio Payment Plans & Energy Assistance Programs Can Help Customers Stay Warm This Winter

Dominion Energy Ohio offers a variety of payment plans and energy assistance plans to better manage your energy costs this winter and help area families stay warm. Customers who may not be able to afford their heating bills are urged to contact Dominion Energy Ohio immediately at 800.362.7557to inquire about these programs. Hearing-impaired customers with Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf can call 711.

Dominion Energy Ohio offers the following payment options to residential and small commercial customers:

• Budget Billing allows customers to pay a fixed budget amount each month, based on annual gas usage. Dominion Energy Ohio periodically reviews the budget amount and adjusts it, if necessary, so that the customer will not have a high balance or large credit at the end of the budget year. Customers should call the company for more information.

• Current-Plus Plan: Customers with a past-due balance pay their current monthly bill, plus one-sixth (1/6) of the total account balance at the time they enroll in the plan.

• The One-Ninth Plan allows customers to pay one-ninth (1/9) of their total account balance each month plus a calculated budget amount.

• Under the One-Third Winter Heating Plan, customers pay one-third of their total account balance each month for bills that include gas used from November 1, 2018, through April 15, 2019.

• Short–Term Extension grants up to five additional days to pay before the next bill date.

State and federal governmental energy assistance programs also can help income-eligible customers keep warm this winter. You can apply for all programs with one application at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov, which provides income guidelines as well. Applications are also available at libraries, some banks, and your local home energy assistance provider, or by calling the Ohio Development Services Agency at 800.282.0880.

For example, under the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus), participating customers can maintain their natural gas service by paying 6 percent of their total gross monthly household income, or $10, whichever is greater. To qualify for this year-round special payment plan, developed by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), a customer’s yearly gross household income can be up to 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

PIPP Plus has special benefits for participating customers. Each time customers make their required PIPP Plus monthly payments in full by the due date, Dominion Energy Ohio will credit their accounts for the rest of that month’s current charges, plus a one-twenty-fourth (1/24) credit toward their prior account balances. After 24 months of on-time and in-full PIPP Plus payments, their accounts would become current. The new PIPP Plus maximum yearly household gross income levels for the 2018-2019 program year are: $18,210 for one person, $24,690 for two people, and $37,650 for four. Add $6,480 for each additional person.

The company reminds customers that under PUCO’s annual Winter Reconnection Order, all residential customers, regardless of income, may avoid a shutoff or restore gas service once during the heating season between now and April 15, 2019, by paying the lesser of: the entire past-due balance on your gas bill, the past-due payments if you are on a special payment plan, or $175.

For more information on Dominion Energy Ohio’s programs and services, visit www.dominionenergy.com.

Holiday Survival Guide: How to Get Through the Holidays with No Regrets

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Let’s face it: it is hard to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays. Everywhere we turn there are tempting foods and drinks—from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites. When you add in a busy schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales are concerned.

The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1 rolls around and you have no regrets!

Your Goal:  Maintenance

In order to greet the New Year without tipping the scale, it is wise to try to maintain your weight during the next few months instead of trying to lose. Remember:  you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from deprivation. This means that you will allow yourself occasional treats and splurges and keep the scale where it is rather than trying to actually decrease your weight.

There are several ways to accomplish this:

• Don’t skip your workouts. To get the biggest bang for your exercise-buck, do regular strength training moves. Even after your strength training session has ended, your metabolism and calorie-burn remains high when you do strength training! You need this calorie-burn to keep up with the richer food that you will be eating. You will also be less likely to overeat if you have just pushed through a hard workout!

• Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip this important meal.

• Keep a food diary. Write down every single thing you eat—even if it is only one bite of shrimp cocktail. It is a proven fact that keeping a food journal results in better weight control than not keeping one. (Tip: don’t want to write it down? Snap a picture!)

• Monitor your hunger. Never show up at a party or buffet ravenous—you will most certainly overeat. Drink water and have a protein-filled snack (such as nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cheese) before arriving. This will help you have more self-control around the temptations.

• Weigh yourself twice each week. Normally it is not a good idea to step on the scale too often, but during the holidays it’s a great way to stay on track with your goals. If you see the scale start to creep, you can immediately take steps to correct it, such as backing off your calories for a day or two, drinking more water, and adding in a little more exercise.

• Watch your portion size. If you have an idea of how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it.

• Deal quickly with leftovers. If you have unhealthy leftovers in your home, you are likely to indulge. Don’t leave them sitting around. Freeze them, give them away or toss them. It’s not worth the temptation!

• Check in with your future self. Every day, speak to yourself from the future—say, from January 1. Thank yourself for doing the tough work of self-discipline during these holiday weeks. You might say something like this: Thank you! I feel great! I’m no heavier than I was in November, I’ve stayed on track with my exercise, my energy is incredible, and I’ve got the momentum to spend the rest of the winter getting in even better shape before spring gets here!

• Go public. Sound scary? It’s supposed to! Let others know what your current weight is and check in with them each time you weigh yourself. That kind of intense accountability will give you will power when the cheesecake and fudge starts showing up at the office!

You can survive the holidays with no added weight gain. Remember these tips and keep a vision of what you want to feel like on January 1 in mind. It’s going to be a great holiday season!

Be strong, eat clean, and live well—BONUS: Download our FREE Holiday Survival Guide at www.maxstrengthfitness.com/holiday.

Do You Want to Look Younger?

Advancements To Facial Cosmetic Surgical Techniques Offer Improved Results

By A. Lawrence Cervino, M.D.

In the last 20 years, the practice of plastic surgery has really evolved, becoming extremely popular with more of an emphasis on cosmetic surgery. Patients used to be very quiet about undergoing cosmetic surgery and now it is more in demand and acceptable than ever – especially among younger people. Cosmetic surgery and treatments are now more accessible to more people, and newer, less invasive techniques offer less expensive alternatives which encourages you to change things about your appearance that you might not like. Improved surgical techniques now offer you improved results for three of the most popular facial cosmetic surgical procedures – endoscopic brow lifts (forehead and eye lifts), neck lifts, and facelifts.

ENDOSCOPIC BROW LIFTS (FOREHEAD LIFTS) AND BLEPHAROPLASTY

An endoscopic brow lift, or forehead lift, is the most current and state-of-the-art method of forehead and eyebrow lifting. The procedure, which is minimally invasive when compared to traditional surgery, involves making very small incisions behind your hairline and uses endoscopic surgical techniques to perform surgery. While most cosmetic procedures make you look better for your age, the brow lift actually makes you look younger. A brow lift reduces wrinkle lines, improves frown lines, raises sagging eyebrows and places the eyebrows in a youthful position. Recovery time for a brow lift is usually 10-14 days.

Many times a forehead lift is done in conjunction with eyelid rejuvenation surgery, or blepharoplasty. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. Blepharoplasty surgery repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat. Blepharoplasty offers you a refreshed, rejuvenated eye, unobscured vision, and an overall more alert and awake appearance.

NECK LIFTS

A neck lift, or lower rhtidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck to re-establish the jawline. The first signs of aging are often seen in your neck. Modern techniques and technology allow surgeons to perform neck lift surgery using extremely small incisions, usually placed discreetly behind your ears and under your chin. Through these incisions, excess fat is removed, either via liposuction or through surgical excision, restoring a smoother, firmer and youthful appearance to your neck. Neck lift surgery is typically done as an outpatient, with recovery taking a week to ten days.

FACELIFTS AND FACIAL FAT GRAFTING

You may think you are familiar with the traditional facelift but even that procedure has changed.

Remember that caught in a wind tunnel look facelifts used to have? Not any longer. What actually ages your face is a loss of facial volume. As we age, our face thins out and leaves us with sagging skin. One of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures today is a combination facelift and facial fat grafting, which restores facial volume and leaves your face with a fuller, rounder, and younger look. In this procedure, tiny amounts of fat are removed from your abdomen or thighs, immediately refined, and carefully injected into certain regions of your face that have started to lose fat, such as areas around your eyes, cheeks and jawline. Fat grafting allows the plastic surgeon to give you a softer, natural appearance with long-lasting results. Recovery time from a facelift with facial fat grafting can last anywhere from two to three weeks.

When considering any type of cosmetic surgery, your most important decision is choosing a qualified, experienced surgeon. A good cosmetic surgeon must be grounded in plastic surgery, and at Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons all six of our plastic surgeons have extensive core training with residencies and fellowship training. You can be confident in your surgeon if you choose Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons.

Fun Facts About Autumn

The cool, crisp days of autumn have arrived. As fall foliage creates a colorful display and kids frolic in leaf piles on the lawn, you may want to pay some mind to a few lesser known facts about this beloved time of year. Autumn may call to mind Halloween and the return of school, but there are other factors that make this season unique.

  1. The first day of autumn is known as the autumnal equinox. On this day, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal. This is because the sun is aligned with the center of the Earth between the north and south of the planet.

  2. In Greek mythology, autumn was a time when Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. During this time, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, was distraught and the ground grew sparse and cold. When Persephone returned in the springtime, plants and life bloomed anew because of Demeter’s happiness.
  3. Those who live closest to the equator, which is the center of the planet, never experience the season of autumn. Around the equator, the temperature remains consistently warm.

  4. Yellow, orange and variations thereof always reside in the pigmentation of tree leaves, but they are just overpowered by the abundance of green from the chlorophyll in the leaves. Come autumn, however, when the sun weakens and days grow shorter, the amount of chlorophyll in leaves diminishes, allowing the other pigments in the leaves to show through.

  5. Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.

  6. Fall is a peak migration time for many species of birds. During autumn, birds will y to other areas as they seek more hospitable climates. The Arctic tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration. That is like going all the way across the United States about three and a half times.

  7. Contrary to popular belief, squirrels who have spent the entire autumn collecting acorns and other foods do not hibernate for the winter. Rather, they spend the majority of their time in nests they built to shelter them from harsh weather. When squirrels do come out in winter, they are usually tunneling under the snow to find the food they buried during the fall.

  8. Several cultures have ancient traditions that coincide with autumn. For example, the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival to give thanks for a successful summer harvest.

  9. Halloween is a large part of autumn. The concept of wearing masks and costumes hails from ancient Celtic tradition. The Celts believed ghosts roamed on Halloween, and people wore disguises to hide from the spirits.

  10. You’re bound to see pumpkins as part of autumn decor. The pumpkin was first named by the Greeks. They called this edible orange item “pepon,” which means “large melon.”

  11. Evergreen trees will not lose their leaves like deciduous trees. Their leaves, also called needles, are covered with a thick wax. This wax protects the inner components of the needles, preventing them from freezing.

  12. Autumn also signals another colorful spectacle apart from the tree leaves. The aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, tends to be visible this time of year. This is because geomagnetic storms are about twice as likely to occur during the fall thanks to cool evening weather.

 

Do You Have Questions About Medicare?

By Roni Bell

You are NOT alone! I have seen much change so I stay current and informed so I can give you a choice, convenience and counsel is important to me.   Choosing insurance plans can be difficult. I have listed several of the most frequently asked questions below.

WHAT AGE DO I NEED TO BE TO SIGN UP FOR MEDICARE?

  1. Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for those who are:
  2. 65 and older
  3. Any age and disabled (after 25 months)
  4. Diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (Kidney disease requiring dialysis)
  5. IF I RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY, AM I AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN MEDICARE?
  • If you are collecting social security, you will automatically be signed up for Original Medicare and receive your Medicare card in the mail 3 to 4 months before you turn 65.
  • Otherwise, you need to go to www.medicare.gov and formally enroll in Medicare Parts A & B in order to be signed up and get your Medicare Card. You may also call or visit your local Social Security office for help or to sign up for Medicare.
  • If you are covered under your (or your spouse’s) CURRENT employer group health plan, you may delay enrollment into Medicare Part B.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN vs. THE MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN?

  1. Original Medicare never intended to pay 100% of health care costs. You have two options in Medicare if you want additional coverage, either a Medicare Supplement or an Advantage plan.

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Medigap) help with the coverage gaps in Original Medicare. (You will need to add a separate prescription drug plan – Part D.) Original Medicare is still the primary payer of claims; you choose an insurance company that helps fill in some/all of the costs that Original Medicare does not cover. (deductible, co-insurance)

With a Medicare Supplement Plan or Medigap, you pay little or NO out of pocket cost when used (for medical). These plans have NO network. They are accepted nationwide by all doctors/hospitals who accept Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plan:

You still pay your Part B premium. You choose a plan with a private health insurance company, and they will pay your doctors and hospitals. You will be charged out-of-pocket costs when the plan is used. That means you will pay copays at the doctor, hospital, outpatient surgery, labs, etc.

You will need to be willing to use network providers, as these plans can be HMOs or PPOs. They have a maximum out-of-pocket cost for medical (prescriptions not included). Most Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage. They may also offer some added benefits such as vision, dental, hearing, fitness, etc. These plans can have a lower cost or no additional cost to you, in addition to your Part B premium.

HOW DO I SELECT THE BEST PLAN TO FIT OUR NEEDS?

  1. I highly recommend meeting with a licensed insurance agent. HealthMarkets and my team are here to help, and there is no charge or fee to meet with an agent. You will pay the same rate that you would if you trudge through it on your own.   There are many things to take into consideration in choosing the most appropriate plan for you. There is no BEST plan in Medicare; it is really determining the plan that fits with your lifestyle, your medications, and your individual situation.

I do like to make sure that clients know that they are eligible to purchase a Medicare supplement with no health questions asked, in your guarantee issue period. (This is 6 months beginning with turning 65 or enrolling in Part B, whichever is later.) There are some other special circumstances, typically 63 days after loss of coverage.   After your guaranteed enrolment period ends, you will be asked medical questions to determine if you are eligible for a Medicare Supplement. They can either decline or charge a higher rate based on health.

Please reach out if you have questions. We will work to find the plan that best fits you and your family. ~Roni

Here’s How to Achieve Your Goals Once and For All!

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Do you have unmet goals? If so, you aren’t alone. Most people live with unfulfilled aspirations.

Unfortunately, many widely used self-help techniques fail to deliver results. Case in point: You’ve probably heard of the “Yale Goal Study” where researchers interviewed Yale’s 1953 graduating class, asking whether or not the students had written down specific goals that they wanted to achieve. Then 20 years down the road the researchers looked up each student and discovered that the 3% of the class who had written down their goals had accumulated more personal wealth than the other 97% combined. Very compelling story, but complete fiction.

The “Yale Goal Study” never happened, though motivational speakers and self-help books have quoted it for years. Best-selling author and psychologist, Richard Wiseman, went on a mission to craft a no-nonsense response to the bogus self-help techniques. Using a diverse range of scientific data, he uncovered a proven approach to achieve any goal. The following 5 successful techniques (Do This) and 5 unsuccessful techniques (Not That) are from Wiseman’s book, 59 Seconds Change Your Life in Under a Minute.

1) Do This: Make a Step-by-Step Plan.

If you are serious about achieving your goal, then you need to create a step-by-step plan on how to do it. Successful goal-achievers break down their overall goal into sub-goals. Each sub-goal needs to be concrete, measurable and time-based.

• Not That: Motivate yourself by focusing on someone that you admire. Studies show that focusing on someone you admire is not a strong enough motivator to see you through your goal.

2) Do This: Tell Other People About Your Goal.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? If you want it bad enough, you’ll tell your friends and family. This technique works on two levels. First, you’ve put yourself on the spot by letting the world in on your goal, so it’s all-eyes-on-you. Failure would be public. Second, your friends and family are there to offer support and encouragement. Don’t underestimate the psychological power of having someone in your corner.

• Not That: Think about the bad things. When you focus on the negative it becomes your reality.

3) Do This: Focus on the Good Things When Achieving Your Goal.

Remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goal. Make a checklist of how life will be better once you have achieved your aim. This gets your focus on a positive future, one that’s worth the effort.

• Not That: Try to suppress unhelpful thoughts. Rather than trying to erase that image of chocolate cake from your mind, learn to deal with the reality of temptation head-on.

4) Do This: Reward Your Progress.

Studies show that attaching rewards to each of your sub-goals encourages success. Your rewards should never conflict with your major goal. When aiming to lose weight, never use food as a reward.

• Not That: Rely on willpower. Willpower alone rarely gets anyone to their goal.

5) Do This: Record Your Progress.

Make your plans, progress, benefits and rewards concrete by expressing them in writing. Use a hand-written journal, your computer or a bulletin board to chart your progress. This process is priceless for maintaining motivation.

• Not That: Just fantasize about life after achieving your goal. Daydreaming is fun, but simply fantasizing about your new life will not make it a reality.

Are you ready to achieve your fitness and weight loss goal once and for all? Request your free initial consultation and demo workout at www.maxstrengthfitness.com now to get started on your spectacular health and fitness transformation. Now is your time to get into the best shape of your life in only 20 minutes 2 X week at MaxStrength Fitness.

Annual Appliance Inspections Ensure Year-Round Safety & Efficiency

Dominion Energy Ohio reminds customers an annual furnace inspection, by a qualified, reputable heating contractor, can help ensure maximum winter heating safety, comfort and efficiency.

An annual appliance inspection also can prevent any potential carbon monoxide problems. Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors provide a second line of defense, but they should not be used as a substitute for an annual furnace inspection. Combined with an annual inspection, however, a single CO detector, placed in the sleeping area of a home offers additional peace of mind.

Dominion Energy Ohio also offers home energy assessments for just $50 to eligible residential customers, providing ways to save money year-round on home cooling and heating costs. The audits are available through the company’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program, administered by CLEAResult.

The program includes a home energy assessment to help diagnose high utility usage and other home comfort issues, and then provides rebates of up to $1,250 for completion of recommended energy-efficiency improvements. Dominion Energy Ohio customers may call 877.287.3416 to schedule an assessment or visit deohpwes.com for program details and eligibility information.

The assessment is the first step in the program. An energy auditor visits customers’ homes to help pinpoint energy losses through diagnostic testing and a professional evaluation. Following the energy assessment, customers receive a customized energy report with the results, plus recommendations and rebates available through the program.

Recommended improvements typically include air sealing and insulation, HVAC equipment upgrades, window and door replacements, plus much more. These improvements can help customers decrease utility bills, while increasing home comfort, safety, durability and resale value.

Residential customers also may receive such products as a programmable thermostat or carbon monoxide detector, high-efficiency showerheads, and water-saving faucet aerators at no cost (a $100 value). Customers also can use these no-cost/low-cost tips to get the most from their energy dollars this winter heating season:

• Save Money by Degrees: Dominion Energy Ohio also notes that customers can save from 10 to 15 percent on annual heating costs by setting the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and down to 58 degrees at night, or when the resident is at work or away for an extended period.

• Caulk Around: Use inexpensive caulking around the fireplace mantle, inside windows and storm windows, electrical receptacle boxes, exhaust fan openings, pipes leading to bathroom fixtures, mortar cracks in chimneys, cracks in basement walls. Be sure to caulk around areas where the foundation meets the first floor plate and basement windows.

• Draft Stoppers: Block off drafts at the bottom of doors with a rolled up rug or bath towel. You also can make a long, narrow beanbag to fit against the bottom of the door.

• Switch Off Drafts: To seal off drafts, apply self-adhesive foam strips to the back of wall plates for electrical outlets and switches.

Dominion Energy Ohio
www.dominionenergy.com