This blog was written by Jennifer Rennicks, former Senior Director of Policy & Communications at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.Guest Blog | June 7, 2018
Did you know? Going green can actually save you some green! Here are a few tips on how to upgrade your home to keep more money in your wallet:
Know before you buy!
Home energy audits are widely available from utilities in the Southeast. Call your utility to see if they offer a home energy audit and what qualifications your auditor may have. Most audits go a little something like this – A utility representative comes to your home, walks around your home checking for air leaks, examining your insulation levels, checking your appliances and more! This is a helpful (and oftentimes free!) evaluation that will identify where some upgrades are needed to eventually save you money on your utility bill. And keep in mind, the cleanest form of energy is actually the kilowatt you don’t use!
Learn what incentives are available to cut your upfront costs
There are all sorts of incentives for energy efficiency products and services that may be available to you. These incentives are designed to assist with the upfront cost of energy efficiency improvements and will make your investments that much more cost-effective. Start with the federal tax incentives being offered for items such as insulation, windows, and heating and air conditioning systems. Then check you local utility for incentives or low interest financing that might be offered for products that meet certain efficiency standards. By taking advantage of these incentives to maximize your home’s efficiency, you’ll be saving money and the environment in no time.
Lighting and Appliances
Energy efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances are among the easiest and most cost-effective steps you can take to save energy and reduce global warming pollution. Lighting improvements are the easiest place to start. If you’ve only tried one or two LED lightbulbs, go ahead and upgrade the rest of your house. Make sure you start with the lights you use most often (closet lights can wait until last).
Energy Star is the key label to watch for when choosing which energy-using appliance or device to purchase for your home. When you’ve chosen your Energy Star product, don’t keep the old one in operation – have it recycled! That old refrigerator in your basement that you use to cool a few drinks costs far more to operate than the new one in your kitchen. Who knows, the cold drink you enjoy from that refrigerator may actually weigh less than the carbon dioxide produced to keep it cold!
If you want some professional guidance to help you identify what cost-effective steps you can take to save energy in your home, consider contacting your utility for a home energy audit.
Other Things to Consider Upgrading