Guide to Home Energy Efficiency
The decision to cut down on home energy usage is one that more and more people are making for a variety of compelling reasons. Reducing the energy footprint of a home saves money on heating and cooling costs, and helps to create a more sustainable future for everyone by slowing the depletion of Earth’s natural resources. There is a lot to learn when it comes to taking on a more energy efficient lifestyle and it’s important to understand what energy efficiency means and why it matters. All of the resources listed here are full of accurate and trustworthy information about saving energy at home.
Energy Efficient Home Buying
Today, many homes are designed and built with the principles of energy efficiency in mind and there are certain benefits available for homeowners who choose to purchase these greener homes. This includes some tax credits that have been enacted in recent years, and there are even mortgages designed specifically for people purchasing energy efficient homes.
Energy Efficient Mortgage Information – Here you will find good information about Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs), from exactly what they are to how you can qualify for one.
Financing Energy Efficient Homes – This straightforward information comes from Energy.gov for homebuyers purchasing energy efficient homes. Find out what makes a home qualify as being energy efficient and what provisions are available for energy efficient homeowners.
Buying an Energy Efficient Home – In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the EPA, the University of Georgia created this free guide. Print it out and take it with you when looking at houses with your realtor. It includes the right questions to ask, things to check, and even a section for you to take notes and document your findings.
Buying Your First Energy Efficient Home – This article, from Scientific American magazine, profiles first-timers in the energy efficient housing market. Their experience provides some excellent insights for others making their foray into the energy efficient home marketplace.
Energy Efficient Home Improvements
You don’t have to purchase a home that was built with energy saving design principles to get the benefits of energy efficiency. There are a lot of large and small home improvements and projects that you can do to create a more energy efficient home and save money on your utility bills. Use the following links to gather the necessary information and get started.
Energy Saving Home Projects – From Energy.gov, this page includes several tips for making your home as energy efficient as possible, from installing new insulation and windows to tips about home lighting, heating, and cooling.
Energy Efficient Appliance Guide – Using energy efficient appliances is one way to significantly cut down energy consumption in your home. This page, from the Federal Trade Commission’s website, outlines the ways in which energy efficient appliances are beneficial to homeowners and lists the things you should know before making any purchases.
Green Remodeling – The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) runs this site, which is full of resources for both consumers and contractors looking to make ecologically conscious home improvements.
Planning a Green Remodel – Look through this practical guide from This Old House before starting any energy efficient remodeling project on your home. There are plenty of sensible tips that can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.
Everyday Tips for Being Energy Efficient
Conserving energy doesn’t always involve major renovations or time-consuming projects. There are a lot of small steps you can take toward creating a more energy efficient household. Use these resources to figure out how your home stacks up in terms of energy efficiency, and to find out what steps you can take to improve.
Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick – Use this interactive tool to find out how your household’s energy compares to that of others. This is the first step toward improving your level of efficiency.
How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient – Popular TLC series “How Stuff Works” has put together this great list of simple ideas that can make your home significantly more energy efficient right away.
Home Energy Use Tips – Another useful page from Energy.gov, these tips will get you started on creating a more energy efficient home. Also included is information to help you perform your own home energy assessment.
Tips for an Energy Efficient Home – This list from Greener Choices.org includes lots of little things you can do in your day-to-day life, and the facts about how each minor change can directly affect your energy bill.
Additional Helpful Resources
The following pages and sites are full of additional information for anyone interested in green building or energy efficiency in the home. Find out more about tax credits for energy efficient home owners, or download schematics and plans for DIY repairs and projects – all for free.
The Regreen Program – The Regreen Program is a nonprofit group comprised of designers, builders, and other industry experts. Through the site, you can access all kinds of useful information, including step-by-step instructions for home improvement projects – with pictures.
Energy Efficient Home Information by National Geographic – This collection of pages is full of excellent articles about everything related to energy efficient homes. From design principles and building materials to easy lifestyle changes anyone can make (like implementing graywater treatment systems in the home), this is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested energy efficient and sustainable living.
Energy Efficient Home Tax Credits – From Energy Star, this page is filled with helpful information about existing tax credits for homeowners who complete improvements that make their house more energy efficient.
Green Building Advisor – This site is an incredibly useful resource for anyone performing any kind of energy efficient home improvements or building projects. There are blueprints for add-ons like garages, guides to installing things such as skylights and insulation, and lots more.