tips on how to improve your energy efficiency

Improving Energy Efficiency in the Home

Improving energy efficiency in buildings is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to conserve money, lower greenhouse gases, make new jobs, and fulfill growing energy demand around the world. The many advantages of improving energy efficiency in buildings include Saving Money – it is generally agreed that the best investment an individual can make is in their own home. Using energy more efficiently in buildings can reduce heating and cooling costs, contributing to the overall reduction in energy bills. The increased savings achieved from energy efficiency improvements in buildings can ultimately be recouped through increased investment in other areas.

Jobs – with the increase in the demand for skilled labor

improving energy efficiency in buildings is a great way to increase employment opportunities. With the increasing demand for construction project managers, engineers, architects, etc., the need for construction, mechanical, electrical and building engineers will rise, thus creating new job opportunities. Additionally, the increased building activities will allow for more efficient use of materials, equipment, and facilities. As an example, a new, more efficient furnace may improve a building’s ability to provide heat, resulting in a new set of jobs. In the same way, a better heat recovery ventilator may allow a building to operate more efficiently and so saving energy costs.

Improved Energy Efficiency 

with government and utility companies committing to improving the effectiveness of their operations, many households are also taking steps to conserve energy. For example, some households are installing low-flow showerheads and choosing low-flow toilets, and replacing their existing appliances with more energy-efficient ones. Also, more utility companies are encouraging “smart meter” installations. These energy efficiency programs are designed to allow meter readings to indicate energy consumption, which can then be sent to a website to be recorded by the utility company.

Improvements in Humidity and Air Quality

another way that improving energy efficiency helps consumers is by reducing or eliminating indoor air pollution (HAP). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 25 percent of all indoor air contaminants are from HAP. Many people may not be aware that HAP is a problem, as it only shows up when an individual has a respiratory illness such as asthma. However, those who suffer from respiratory illness should be concerned about improving energy efficiency in their homes, since even a small improvement can mean the difference between living a healthy and easy life. Some individuals, such as consumers living with asthma, may be hesitant to make changes, but other more healthy individuals will be willing to make the changes in fear of damaging their health.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint 

another positive effect of improving energy efficiency in the home is reducing or eliminating your carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is the average amount of carbon dioxide a household release into the atmosphere for every one ton of electricity that is produced. For most Americans, the carbon footprint is already large enough to consider improving their efficiency, which can help reduce or eliminate their electricity prices. Other measures such as driving a less-efficient vehicle, planting more trees, and switching to non-electric vehicles can also significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Saving Money on Your Electric Bill 

Finally, many consumers who have the means to do so have taken advantage of federal tax credits, government programs, and various state and local government incentives for improving energy efficiency in the home. Some examples of these programs include the Making Home Affordable program (also known as the MHA program) and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Many states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire offer a variety of different tax credit programs to assist home and business owners with improving their efficiency and lowering their electricity bills.

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