When it comes to improving energy efficiency, there are a lot of questions homeowners should ask first. Be sure that you are getting the biggest bang for your buck by doing some research before taking on a home improvement project.
Fortunately, several tools and calculators are available online to help people save energy and money. We've rounded up some of the best online tools to make your energy upgrade research easier. Start by asking yourself the questions below to figure out how to prioritize based on your personal situation.
|QUESTION||TOOL OR CALCULATOR||INFORMATION|
|What appliances or electronics are using the most energy in my house?||Estimate your annual energy use and cost to operate more than 50 common household products|
|How does my energy usage compare to others across the country?||Energy Star's Home Energy Yardstick||This home assessment tool uses your last 12 months of utility bills to score your household efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10 in comparison to similar homes.|
|What energy-saving upgrades make the most sense based on my local climate and energy prices?||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Home Energy Saver||Enter information about your house to get a customized list of energy savings recommendations.|
|How much can I expect to save by upgrading to energy efficient products?||Energy Department's Energy- and Cost-Savings Calculators||Understand payback periods for various products based on capacity, energy costs, hours of use, and efficiency levels.|
|What tax credits, rebates, and savings are available for any upgrades I make?||Energy Department's Database of Incentives||Search for federal, state, and local incentives to offset the cost of energy efficient improvements and renewable energy technologies in your home.|
Which car should I take?
|FuelEconomy.gov’s Trip Calculator||
Drivers with more than one vehicle in their garage can determine which will be the best for their trip.
|Is there a more cost-effective and energy efficient vehicle that would be right for me?||Energy Department's Vehicle Cost Calculator||Compare emissions and lifetime operating costs of specific vehicle models, including conventional cars and trucks, as well as vehicles running on alternative fuels, such as electricity, ethanol, natural gas, or biodiesel.|
|Where can I get fuel for my non-gasoline-powered car?||Energy Department's Alternative Fueling Station Locator||Find more than 16,000 public alternative fuel and charging stations across the country.|
Whether you decide to unplug your coffee maker, upgrade your insulation, invest in smart home technologies, or just use less gas on a road trip, we hope that these tools allow you to make the right choice for your budget.
*This blog originally appeared on our Energy Saver website.