Trying to keep warm without breaking the bank? Helping keep the earth green by using less fuel? Here are some home energy efficiency ideas:
How efficient is your home?
You could compare gas bills with all your neighbors, but using the federal Energy Star site is probably easier. Their calculator helps you look at your home’s energy use and costs compared to similar homes locally and nationally.
What can you do about it?
Locally, the Community Energy Services program run by the non-profit Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) gives free presentations about simple steps to keep your family comfortable and save energy. After attending a presentation, you can schedule a low-cost ($30) home visit to check out (and sometimes even fix, at no charge!) some of your home’s needs, including installing programmable thermostats, insulating pipes, and more.
Xcel Energy provides some efficiency information on their website, too, including rebate programs that could save money if you’re upgrading to a more energy-efficient furnace or other appliance.
And if you’re considering higher-budget efficiency improvement projects CEE’s search tool lets you see available financing and incentives at the city, state, and neighborhood level.