Fullscreen background image

Home Energy

Home energy effi­ciency is about using less energy to pro­vide the same level of com­fort. This can be achieved through bet­ter tech­nol­ogy, with prod­ucts like Energy Star appli­ances and com­pact flu­o­res­cent light­bulbs (CFL), or changes in behav­ior such as using a pro­gram­ma­ble ther­mo­stat. More effi­cient energy use means lower util­ity bills, less depen­dency on fos­sil fuels, and reduc­tion of pollution.

Pur­chas­ing Energy Star appli­ances, equip­ment and light­ing can cut energy costs by up to 30%. No-cost energy savers include turn­ing off elec­tron­ics and unplug­ging charg­ers when not in use, low­er­ing the tem­per­a­ture on your water heater to 120 degrees and wash­ing clothes in cold water. When you make energy effi­ciency part of your every­day activ­i­ties you are sav­ing money, reduc­ing energy demand and cre­at­ing fewer green­house gases.

In Mary­land, as much as half of home energy goes to heat­ing and cool­ing. Duct seal­ing, improved insu­la­tion, and plug­ging leaks from win­dows, doors, attics and crawl spaces are very effec­tive and afford­able ways to improve the effi­ciency of your home.

A good first step to reduc­ing home energy costs is to pin­point any prob­lem areas. BGE and Pepco both offer home energy audit pro­grams at dis­counted rates. Their Home Per­for­mance with Energy Star pro­grams offer com­pre­hen­sive energy audits for $100,an esti­mated $400 value. The audit report will rec­om­mend spe­cific upgrades as well as esti­mates for their cost and pay­back period.

In addi­tion to the audit results, cus­tomers can real­ize imme­di­ate sav­ings with free LED light bulbs, water heater pipe wraps, show­er­head adapters, faucet aer­a­tors and power strips. These can be installed the day of the audit with the home­own­ers per­mis­sion. All con­trac­tors are vet­ted and approved by the util­ity companies.
To learn more and sign up directly through the util­ity com­pa­nies, use these links for the BGE and Pepco home energy audit pro­grams.  If you want even more per­son­al­ized ser­vice, you can talk to a third-party energy coach who will help you nav­i­gate the process: Retro­fit Bal­ti­more (part of the non-profit group Civic Works)  offers this ser­vice by call­ing 410−929−6139 or email­ing info@retrofitbaltimore.org and Pepco also offers an energy coach by call­ing 443−718−4860 or email­ing PepcoEnergyCoach@icfi.com.

More Info

Please click here for our list of Home Energy Tips which has a list of No-Cost Options, Low-Cost Options, and Strate­gic Savings.

Even more ideas can be found on our Live Green Energy Card. It has dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of Sim­ply Green, Solidly Green and Seri­ously Green options.

For infor­ma­tion about what Howard County Gov­ern­ment is doing to save energy, please visit the Howard County Energy Effi­ciency page and the Howard County Renew­able Energy page.

For infor­ma­tion about home energy pro­grams in Mary­land, see below:

BGE Smart Energy Savers Program

Mary­land Energy Admin­is­tra­tion Incentives

Weath­er­iza­tion Program

Fuel Fund of Mary­land Watts Watcher program

EmPower Mary­land

Retro­fit Baltimore

Green Tip

Use cloth napkins.It’s actually cheaper to throw cloth napkins in the wash than to buy paper ones.