Just as the saying goes “you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” you can’t get the benefits of saving energy at home if you don’t know how to start.
Here are two easy ways to get started:
1) Schedule a Home Energy Check-Up with LEAP. Find out the right improvements to increase your home’s comfort and to save energy. Most homes have a range of options, including quick, easy, and low cost actions. A trained Home Energy Coach will install some materials to start you saving energy right away and will give you confidence of the right ‘next steps’ for your home.
Recommendations include DIY (do-it-yourself) improvements, behaviors you could adopt, and larger improvements for when you have the time and money to invest.
Single-family homes and some duplexes are eligible. Apartments and condos are not eligible. Open to homeowners and renters. See the LEAP webpage for details.
2) Pick 3 Energy Saving Actions and Start This Month.
There are tons of options for behaviors you can add to your everyday routine and one-time actions that will continue to save energy over time. We’ve put together some resources for you to consider here.
From Virginia Energy Sense: “From using your appliances more efficiently to monitoring your weekly energy use, there are many simple steps you can take to lower your monthly energy bill. … Click on the topics below for tips that will help your realize savings on your energy bills and put money back in your pockets!”
From the GUEP: “While there is a lot of information available for consumers, a lot of it is relatively dense, and/or requires an advanced degree in engineering and math to truly understand what actions are best for an individual to take. To help individuals make more efficiency energy choices, a Georgetown University Energy Prize Fellow, Catherine Huber, [distilled] the wealth of available information into a few easy-to-understand guides.”
Guides on each of the following topics can be downloaded from their webpage as PDF documents: Lighting, Windows, Insulation, Heating/Cooling, Appliances, Outdoor Space.
To help pick what’s right for you, consider these tips:
- Choose couple actions that you can start adding to your daily habits, and a few one-time actions that you can complete this month.
- Most home energy use can be thought of as being for heating/cooling, lighting/electronics, or for heating water. Focus on one area when picking actions, or, pick one action for each.
- Talk the items over with your family or housemates too – one of the most effective ways to adopt new behaviors (as in, easy and fun) is to create a competition or goal. If you reach your goal, reward yourselves with something you enjoy like a special dinner or dessert, a movie night, or a weekend trip.
Adding energy saving actions into your routines and making one-time adjustments can cost nothing to complete. These are also choices anyone can make, whether you own your home or not.