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Home Energy Saver Website Leads the Way to Savingstown

Posted by Eric Barendsen on November 29, 2012
Home Energy Saver Website Leads the Way to Savingstown
Visit the Home Energy Saver website to learn energy-saving specifics about your home.

Energy Saver Blog readers interested in saving energy in their homes and starting to take back some of the hard cash they're spending on power should check out this website called Home Energy Saver.

A quick surf through the site turns up a bundle of useful information that can help you save money on energy.

Can you believe that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? That's a lot of green I'd rather spend on other things! Sadly, a large amount of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. In all, roughly 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere as a result of generating the energy to power homes in America.

Alongside these eye-opening facts, the website also features a home energy calculator that allows you to quickly estimate how much money you'd save each year by making simple upgrades to improve the efficiency of your home. I tried it out and entered information about my house to make it more accurate, such as the number of people living in the home, its square footage and number of floors, the heating and cooling systems we have, and the type and approximate size of our windows. When the tool crunched the numbers, it estimated that I could save nearly $1,000 each year and reduce my carbon footprint by 8,300 pounds of CO2 annually by taking some basic energy efficiency steps. It also broke down the savings by specific energy upgrade, so I could see which ones are the easiest and most affordable.

It recommended upgrades including a programmable thermostat (saving $96 each year), efficient indoor lights (saving $68), and energy-efficient clothes washer, water heater, and electric clothes dryer (saving $35, $49, and $77 respectively). By spending a little more and adding insulation in the walls, attic, and basement (saving $566), and installing high-efficiency windows (saving $85), I could really cash in. The calculator estimated that I would pay off all of the top 12 upgrades in seven years with the energy I would save. I'm not ready to make all of the upgrades that it recommended, but it helped me prioritize the ones that I can afford now and make a list of others I'd like to do in the future.

American consumers spend $241 billion each year on energy for home use. In fact, about 1 in 5 of the nation's energy dollars is spent in homes. Energy efficiency improvements could cut this number by well over half.

You have the power to reduce energy demand every day in your home, and when you cut your use, you cut the amount of natural resources, like coal and gas, needed to make energy. That means you release less greenhouse gas emissions, which keeps air cleaner for all of us, and you save big time on your utility bills!

 

Eric Barendsen is the Energy Technology Program Specialist at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
 
This blog originally appeared on DOE's website here.

 

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