Posted on | March 30, 2010 | No Comments
We weatherized our house last year. You can read all about it here.
So far, in the 11 months since we completed the work, we have saved approximately $900 on our annual heating bill. Assuming energy prices remain constant (which they won’t – all projections indicate rising energy prices), we will payback the insulation and air sealing portion of the work in about 5 1/2 years giving us about an 18% return on investment. Sure beats our savings account (and our IRA’s for that matter).
I like Suze Orman’s approach in this month’s O Magazine: The sub-heading is “act green before you buy green”
Suze’s top 10 tips (all paraphrasing mine):
- Reduce your energy consumption first before embarking on any energy-saving technology. Start with the small, easy-to-accomplish measures like changing lightbulbs and properly programming your thermostat (if you don’t have a programmable thermostat – get one – it will pay you back in a week!).
- Set an energy-saving goal. Enlist the kids. Offer to give them half of the energy savings if the family meets its goal.
- Pick projects that will increase your property value.
- If using a home equity line of credit for energy-saving upgrades, aim to have it repaid within three years because interest rates are expected to rise (I’d say five years if you can finance high-payback strategies).
- Get a home energy audit from an Energy Star partner (call us!)
- Check DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) for all available upgrades. The database is updated monthly. A retrofit project can take some time so make sure you check back at reasonable intervals.
- Talk to your accountant about all eligible tax credits and rebates.
- If you are purchasing new appliances, buy Energy Star.
OK, the next two are mine:
- If you are doing a major retrofit to your house, incorporate an energy audit and energy-saving strategies as part of the construction (we’ll help!)
- Whether you live in a single-family home, co-op or condominium, analyze your energy consumption data at least once a year to see how you are doing.