Every year, the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 on home utility bills. Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted – and subsequently, families are spending their hard-earned dollars on that wasted energy. For many low-income Americans, these energy bills absorb quite a significant amount of family income.
The good news is that there are easy, no-cost or low-cost projects that you can do in one day to save energy and money at home. One of the best resources for ideas is EnergySavers.gov, our website dedicated to helping Americans save money by saving energy. There you’ll find information on several energy efficiency topics – from insulation to heating and cooling to lighting and tax credits and rebates for which you may be eligible. The Energy Savers Blog, which we highlight frequently here on the Energy Blog, lets you engage in the ongoing conversation on energy savings through your comments to blogs.
But the best first step to improving your home’s energy use is a professional home energy assessment. A home energy expert will visit your home, measure its energy use, and help you identify ways to save. While you can tackle a basic home energy assessment on your own, it’s best to have a professional involved – you’ll get better results, better savings, and a prioritized list of improvements that can save you money. For most homes, a thorough energy assessment identifies far more savings than the cost of the assessment itself; many states and cities and some utilities even offer home energy assessments free of charge.
After your home energy assessment, with an action plan in hand, you will know the best, most cost-effective projects to take on. Once you’ve made your home more efficient, you’ll see the savings almost immediately.
Some states have launched their own state-specific energy savings websites. Colorado launched rechargecolorado.com, an online tool that helps Coloradans find information on rebates, tax incentives, and contractors to make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient. The California Energy Commission has established the Consumer Energy Center, a website for Californians containing information from cool roofs to insulation to wind power tax incentives. The Maine legislature also has a website called Efficiency Maine to help its citizens save money and energy.
Visit our map of State Energy Offices to learn more about what's going on in your state.