WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS PEOPLE DO TO BECOME ENERGY EFFICIENT?
It’s important to understand where most of all residential energy comes from.
5 main categories make up about 70% of our consumption.
Those are heating, cooling, water heaters, appliances and lighting.
Within that focusing on the building envelope is important.
In particular with air sealing and reducing heat loss.
Another thing people can do is get Energy Star Appliances.
These consume about 20-30% less energy than required by federal standards.
Lighting represents almost 10% of consumption so using energy star bulbs is critical.
WHAT IS AN ENERGY AUDIT?
This consists of a trained and certified individual that will perform a visual inspection, utility bill analysis, a blower door test, duct blaster and thermographic diagnostic tests. Some of the most common home performance issues are air leakage, low insulation levels, safety concerns, under performing products and duct leakage.
These tests tend to average about $400, but can save you easily that in utility bills depending on how leaky one's home is. If you live in the Seattle area, Seattle City Lights will subsidize an energy audit through the Community Power Works program so people can get one done for only $95.
Washington Energy Services does great home energy audits and if you mention Rhino Roz Realty, they will perform an energy audit for half the price at only $199. If you'd like to learn more about what all is inspected during an energy audit, click here.
Although it's not a replacement for a professional evaluation, a Do-it-Yourself Energy Evaluation can uncover problems for quick fixes and further investigation. The City of Seattle has created a very through do-it-yourself home energy audit.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE FROM BECOMING ENERGY EFFICIENT?
You can save 20% or more on your heating & cooling costs. There are numerous Energy Savings Calculators online that will let you know how much of an impact you not only have on your bills but also the environment by entering customized info about your home. The US Dept of Energy has a great site called The Home Energy Saver.
For example using an energy star bulb such as a CFL instead of a traditional bulb is an easy way to start becoming energy efficient. People always want to know why they should spend 3 times the amount of money on an energy efficient bulb. The reason why is that ff you replace one bulb you can save $50 in energy costs over the life of one bulb. They will also last up to 10 times longer and you use 75% less energy than with a traditional one.
For More information on Energy Efficiency, check out these links: