When it comes to saving money and improving energy efficiency, many, if not most homeowners have various questions. While many tips and ideas are easy to implement, homeowners do fear making the wrong decision about expensive home improvement projects.
It is important that we as individuals research all that is involved before diving in to huge home improvement projects. And fortunate for us, there are several tools available online to help in the research process.
This article will focus on some of the best tools that will help you hit the ground running when it comes to saving electricity, energy and money.
Question: Which electronics and appliances are using the most electricity in your home?
Notes: This resource will provide you with the ability to estimate your annual energy usage by analyzing the costs to operate over 50 common household products.
Question: Do I use more or less energy compared to others across the country?
Online resource: Energy Star’s Home Energy Yardstick
Notes: When we receive our monthly electric bill, it is a common thought to wonder if you are using more or less energy that your neighbors. The Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick is a home assessment tool that utilizes your last calendar year of utility bills and analyzes them against similar homes across the country. By taking 12 months of bills, an overall score is calculated on a scale of 1 to 10 which will highlight how you stack up against others.
Wouldn’t it be good to know if you are using too much energy compared to everyone else?
Question: What home improvement updates should I consider making based on my location, climate and current energy prices?
Online resource: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Home Energy Saver
Notes: This is a very simple tool that allows you to enter information about your home to get a personalized list of energy/electricity saving recommendations. It will help with tips including heating & cooling, water heating, small/major appliances and lighting.
Question: If I am considering major energy-efficient home improvements, what tax credits and rebates are available?
Online resource: Energy Department’s Database of Incentives
Notes: This tool will allow you to search for local, state and federal financial incentives which will assist in offsetting the cost of home energy efficiency improvements. It has an easy to use interface that allows you to search by keyword, state of residence, commercial or residential and project type.
For example, after using this tool to find incentives for residential air conditioner upgrades in Florida, here is one of the listed results:
Florida Power and Light- Residential Energy Efficiency Program
Florida Power and Light (FPL) offers rebates to residential customers who implement certain energy efficiency improvements in eligible homes. HVAC rebates are available for the replacement of air…
Eligibility: Residential, Installers/Contractors, Multifamily Residential
Savings Category: Heat Pumps, Air conditioners, Duct/Air sealing, Building Insulation, Roofs
Question: How much can you really save by switching to energy efficient appliances and devices?
Notes: This particular resource focuses more on commercial properties. It provides downloadable spreadsheets that allow users to enter various figures with the sole purpose of calculating net cost savings on products such as air conditioners, water heaters, dishwashers, computers, clothes washers, fryers, ice machines and ovens.
These are just a few tools available online which will help in your research regarding the most efficient ways to save electricity, energy and money. As you start using these tools, you will be pleasantly surprised at all they have to offer.