click on graphs to enlarge
MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD TIPS
Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends approximately $1,350 a year on their home’s utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. The
amount of energy wasted just through poorly insulated windows and doors is about as much energy as we get from the Alaskan pipeline each year. And electricity
generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. By using a few inexpensive energy efficient measures, you can
reduce your energy bills by 10% to 50% and, at the same time help reduce air pollution.
The key to achieving these savings is a whole house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent
parts. For example: You may have a top-of-the-line, energy efficient furnace, but if the ducts leak and are not insulated and your walls, attic, windows and doors are not
insulated, your energy bills will remain high. Taking a whole house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars that you invest in energy efficiency are wisely spent.
Energy efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long term financial rewards. Reduced operating costs more than make up
for the higher price of energy efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. Improvements may also qualify you for an energy efficient mortgage, which
allows lenders to use a higher than normal debt to income ratio to calculate loan potential. In addition, your home will likely have a higher resale value.
The first step to taking a whole house energy efficiency approach is to find out which parts of your house use the most energy. A home energy audit will show where
these are and suggest the most effective measures for reducing energy costs. You can conduct a simple home energy audit yourself, you can contact your local utility,
or you can call an independent energy auditor for a more comprehensive examination.
Formulating Your Plan
After you have identified places where your home is losing energy, assign priorities to your energy needs by asking yourself a few important questions:
· How much money do you spend on energy?
· Where are your greatest energy losses?
· How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself?
· Can you do the job yourself, or will you need to hire a contractor?
· What is your budget and how much time do you have to spend on maintenance and repair?
Once you assign priorities to your energy needs, you can form a whole house efficiency plan. Your plan will provide you with a strategy for making smart purchases
and home improvements that maximize energy efficiency and save the most money.