Save Green: Home Energy Savings

Day #2 of Save Green.

Today’s savings: ENERGY.

Prevent leaking around windows with caulking
Prevent leaking around windows with caulking

A couple of months ago I wrote about the 90% reduction movement and my family’s informal energy audit. An energy audit or full green home audit is always a great way to start. You won’t know if you have made improvements unless you know where you started. A formal energy audit will often include suggested improvements.

We as energy consumers need to know what specific actions we can take to save. There is a lot of movement in Canada on the federal and provincial levels to build a green economy, such as the Ontario Green Energy Act. In the U.S., the Energy Star program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy helps individuals and businesses to save money and energy by encouraging them to increase efficiency. When these big movements lead to consumer-oriented guides, the path toward savings is clear for us.

I’ve gathered a few resources on tax incentives, rebates, grants, and other incentives to make home retrofits.


Canada

  • Natural Resources Canada Office of Energy Efficiency lists grants and incentives by province and territory. Check out the specific grant amounts.
  • Environment Canada has a great search by province/territory and program type.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has a consumer website that is simple to navigate. Also find an energy adviser. Simple steps:
    Step 1 – Find an auditor and book your Home Energy AuditStep 2 – Your home energy auditor will find your home’s energy leaksStep 3 – Plug the leaks with energy saving retrofitsStep 4 – When your work is completed, book your post-retrofit auditStep 5 – Get up to $10,000 in Government rebates
  • EcoEnergy Home Retrofits
  • Energy Star

U.S.

  • Energy Star lists details of available tax credits and the most common questions about those.
  • U.S. Department of Energy – list of available tax incentives
  • Internal Revenue Service provides information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provides tax incentives for energy-efficient products.

Both my local gas and electric companies are offering rebates. The gas company for adding insulation and other weatherization measures and the electric company for appliances, heating and cooling equipment, and weatherization.

Check your local utilities to see whether they offer additional incentives you can take advantage of.

Today is Day #2 of my new Save Green Habit: run the stairs every day.

At first, every time I needed to use the stairs I just ran them three times instead of one. I worked up to seven times by the end of the first day, and I’m up to 10+ every time now. Four mini runs yesterday, and today is just beginning. I want to work up to 30 minutes at a time, but I figure it’s best to get there slowly since I don’t want my children to find me collapsed on the stairs.

Image © Lastdays1 | Dreamstime.com

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