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 LED lightbulbs, or changes in behavior such as using a programmable thermostat. More efficient energy use means lower utility bills, less dependency on fossil fuels, and pollution reduction.
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.
Need More Help?
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)
Home Energy Tips
Saving energy can be very simple, like turning off lights when you don’t need them. Or it can range into more extensive ideas such as doing a home energy audit to find opportunities to make your home more comfortable, efficient, and cost less to operate. Or they can be somewhere in-between.
The following is a list of No-Cost Options, Low-Cost Options, and Strategic Savings. Strategic Savings means that you might have to put more time and money into them, but they will be worth it!