As part of National Energy Awareness Month, Energy Efficiency Day is meant to promote an open dialogue around home performance upgrades and other energy efficiency measures. A couple weeks ago, we talked about [link to blog above] what you, as a homeowner or renter, can do immediately, and within months, to make your home more comfortable, safe and efficient for your family.
Today, we want to talk about how implementing these changes has led to energy savings and more for millions of Americans.
Home performance is energy efficiency
What is home performance and how does it fit in to the overarching idea of energy efficiency? Home performance, also sometimes referred to as building science, looks at the house as a whole and not just individual parts. The idea is that, if your home is drafty and uncomfortable, the issue might be larger than the fact that you have older windows. If you have thin or no insulation, you could replace the windows and your home would still be uncomfortable. And, if your furnace is old and inefficient, you could be greatly overspending to heat this space. The idea is that all of these different parts work together in some way or another to make your home either efficient or inefficient.
Is home performance worth it?
Sure, it costs some money up front to make energy efficient upgrades, but the savings and non-energy benefits (such as improved indoor air quality) pay off over time. Check out the following real life statistics from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE):
- Energy efficiency has saved consumers $90 billion annually on electric bills. For U.S. households, this means an average savings of $840 per year.
- ENERGY STAR programs across the nation have helped families and businesses save $430 billion on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 billion metric tons since 1992.
- Since 1990, savings from energy efficiency gains have averted the need to build 313 large power plants.
- The average home size has increased by 20% since 1980, but the average U.S. home uses less energy now than it did over 35 years ago.
- Consumers pocket over $500 a year in utility bill savings thanks to energy-saving standards for home appliances, such as washers, dryers and dishwashers.
- By 2020, U.S. consumers will save $64 million each year as appliances get increasingly more efficient.
Is your home efficient? The best way to answer to that question is to get an energy audit. Many state programs offer incentives and rebates to make it easier to get low cost or free energy audits. Visit the DSIRE website to see if your state is on the list. Don’t forget to make sure to do the recommended energy efficiency work after your energy audit! You can do the energy upgrades in stages or all-at-once.
Join the conversation across social media outlets all day today, Wednesday, October 5th, to learn more about energy efficiency and its benefits. Follow hashtag #EEDay2016 on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day for updates!