Almost every home has some type of energy waste – energy that is being used when there are ways to prevent it. Whether the homeowner has uninsulated pipes or is using fluorescent light bulbs, the energy waste adds up, and that costs you — the resident — real cash.
You may be thinking to yourself that your windows may not be as well-insulated as they could be. What you most likely don’t know is what impact that leakage is having on your energy bill. Is it $2 per month, or $20 per month? And what’s your threshold for throwing cash away? Better yet, what’s your discomfort threshold — are you tired of being chilly in your house even on the mildest days?
The Howard County Home Energy Audit kicked off this past June with star players on both teams. Since that time County contractors have completed an amazing 422 home energy audits for residents. These audits assess how much energy your home consumes and evaluates what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. Sound like a game winner? We think so.
Residents have provided a lot of positive feedback regarding the audits, and many are taking advantage of current home performance and energy efficiency rebates from the utilities. Here’s what a few of our star players have said about the audit game:
Kathy True: Thank you so much for your time. The report is very comprehensive and easy to understand.
Nii and Theo J-Q: Thanks for the visit yesterday and your very prompt report I received this afternoon. As with your audit, the report is very detailed and specific; it’s going to help. My wife and I will prioritize each and every opportunity to upgrade the energy efficiency of our home. Some are quite simple and can be done on our own and others, including purchase of appliances, will have to be performed by professionals.
The program is now in full swing, with approximately 90 audits awarded every week. This will continue through the end of the year until the program total of 1,600 audits is met.
Once all of the audits have been completed, the County will have a database of energy audit reports and stats which will provide the groundwork for putting together a game plan of best practices for recommended energy upgrades based on a wide variety of housing types.
Karen Towson of Columbia had one of the first home energy audits, and has since had sealing and insulation work done. Her projected annual energy savings of $350 was confirmed upon testing of the work, with a significant decrease in the air leakage in her home – and she is happy to be living more comfortably as well!
Don’t just sit on the sidelines and watch it happen – jump in the game! Enter the lottery by filling out the application provided on the home energy audit page.
And now back to our regular blogcast:
Here are some ideas for the cash you can save on your energy bills: a karaōke night out; buying sports paraphernalia; dying your hair green in the spirit of “Live Green;” taking a jujitsu class; etc. Let us know what you’re going to do with the money you save!Laura Miller Office of Environmental Sustainability September 2011