I am often asked, “What improvements can I make to my home to get a quick return on making it more energy efficient?” One word, insulation. If the insulation on your attic floor is fiberglass or cellulose and not at least 12 inches deep, I would suggest to bring it to the 12 inch or deeper level. You’ll save every day the outside temperature is either warmer or colder than the temperature inside your home. Attic insulation is an out-of-site but effective tool to reduce your electric power consumption for heating and cooling.
Another quick return is to replace all the bulbs that are used frequently and for long periods of time in your home to LEDs. This will reduce your electric power consumption by almost 75 percent. Frequently used examples include outside lighting units that come on daily for a certain number of hours. Inside the home, consider switching to LED bulbs in your kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and family rooms. Closets and storage rooms generally have a really long payback because they are not used for very long periods of time, even though they may get used every day. Lights inside appliances are another example of long payback periods.
For a great price on LEDs, consider purchasing your bulbs from Harrison REMC’s online lighting store. Go to www.harrisonremc.com and click on the “products” drop down, and select the online co-op lighting store. There is a minimum order of six bulbs, and shipping is free. Harrison REMC’s rebate is applied immediately to the purchase cost.
Another way to reduce electric power consumption is investing in a heat pump water heater. Replacing a standard electric water heater with a heat pump version is a smart idea. According to the Department of Energy’s figures that appear on the yellow Energy Guide label on all water heaters, a heat pump water heater uses close to $300 less electricity per year for the hot water consumption of a household of four. Harrison REMC offers a $400 rebate if a member purchases a new heat pump water heater. Call the REMC office if you would like more information or have questions on how this technology works and how to get the rebate.
These are three great strategies to reduce your home’s electric consumption with quick paybacks. For more information, call me at 812-734-3538.
Energy Advisor at Harrison REMC