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Better Alternatives for Your $$$

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?

And now we inter­rupt this blog­cast for spe­cial half-time cov­er­age from our news desk:

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


  1. LauraMiller says:

    Thank you for your sup­port of this excit­ing pro­gram! Close to 1,300 appli­ca­tions have been received, and more are com­ing in every day.

    Thanks again and good luck with your application!

  2. Allison Anderson says:

    How many appli­ca­tions have you received? With so many com­pleted audits, you are well on your way to your goal. I hope I hear from you soon since I put my appli­ca­tion in already! Great program.

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Green Tip

Unplug.40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off.