Renewable Energy Strategies

Overview

You probably pay attention to your car’s gas mileage, but what about your home? How much energy does your home consume? There are countless ways to save money and energy around your home. Read on to explore your own carbon footprint and check out our simple tips and tricks for becoming eco-friendly at home.

Understanding Home Energy

Understanding your carbon footprint means understanding the ways you can save energy. Some people shop for food based on the amount of energy that was used to grow and transport it. Some people consider purchasing “carbon offsets” to reduce their own carbon footprint. But what about your home? How much of a difference does it make?

Your carbon footprint measures the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by your activities. This includes any vehicles you travel in and the production and transportation of any products you buy. It also includes your use of lights, appliances and electrical units. Your carbon footprint is measured in pounds or tons of CO2 per year. Home energy use accounts for about one quarter of your total carbon footprint. This can vary depending on how much you travel, what you buy, what energy consuming devices you use, and the kinds of energy sources available to power your home.  

Making Smart Investments

Converting to energy efficient products and appliances can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. Sixteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from the energy used in homes. The conversion to an energy efficient home can be an expensive one: replacing your windows or furnace can make a huge difference, but it may cost you a significant upfront sum. However, there are ways to save energy at a fair price: check out our energy efficient strategies for tips on cost effective upgrades for heating, lighting and more.

Remodeling Your Home Sustainably

If you want to sustainably remodel your home for energy efficiency, you’ll need a contractor who understands green efficiency strategies and sustainable materials. That way, you can reduce your carbon footprint and improve comfort all around your home. 

Be on guard about contractor promises. Many will say that their work is environmentally friendly simply to attract business. Ask about sustainable materials and keep reading for more information on the sustainable strategies a green contractor might use.

One common strategy for efficiency is daylighting. Daylighting makes the most of natural light to improve your home’s aesthetic while reducing the need for electrical lighting. Click here for energy saving lighting solutions.

If you are going to remodel, take the opportunity to insulate and air seal hard to reach places (like inside the walls). Get an energy audit before your remodel planning starts so you can make sure your general contractor addresses all the best efficiency opportunities. Check out our insulation and air sealing strategies to get the most out of your heating and cooling systems.

If you want to make a long-term investment in producing your own energy to reduce your carbon footprint and protect yourself from rising utility costs, consider renewable energy. For example, installing solar panels on your home and undergoing a home energy retrofit to reduce your electrical consumption at the same time is a smart way to make yourself more energy independent. Generating solar power in an efficient home will maximize the amount of renewable energy you generate and potentially sell back to your utility. Under the right conditions, installing a small residential wind turbine also may give you the opportunity to produce your own green energy.

Ready to start your project? Click here for useful tips about contractors.  


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