Between heating costs in the winter months, and cooling costs in the summer months, your wallet can take a beating.
Low-income families, including the elderly and young children are usually affected most by the changing of the seasons, often suffering in extreme weather because they can’t afford to pay the bills.
The increasing cost of energy can make it seem like you have to choose between comfort and efficiency, but thanks to improved energy audit technology and government incentives, keeping your home at the right temperature and reducing your carbon footprint is easier than ever.
Start With An Energy Assessment
In many cases, utility bills that jump dramatically in the summer or winter months indicate a home that is full of leaks and inefficient appliances. According to the US Department of Energy, conducting a home energy audit is the best way to know where the problems are in your home.
There are ways to conduct a simple energy assessment on your own, but it’s always best to hire a professional that can perform more in-depth tests and offer low-cost solutions to the problems they find.
And the good news is that these professional energy audits are becoming more affordable by the day…
Contact Your Local Utility Company
Many local and regional utility companies now offer rebates, discounts, and other programs that can help you save money and energy. Check with your local power provider to see if they can help you get CFL or LED light bulbs, smart power strips, or a reduced-cost energy audit.
See If You Qualify For Federal Assistance
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency? Since this program was created, over 6.4 million homes have been weatherized with DOE funds, reducing national energy demand by the equivalent of 24.1 million barrels of oil per year.
Over 20 millions families in the US currently qualify for this assistance program. Go here to see if you’re one of them!
Bonus! Home Weatherization Giveaway Sweepstakes
We all know the best things in life are free, so here’s a way to win a big energy upgrade for your home:
- Go to energysavingsapp.com by March 20th, 2011 to learn how much energy and money your home could be wasting.
- At the end of the self-assessment, you can enter to win a home energy upgrade from WellHome Energy Audits.
- Each grand prize winner will receive a credit of $2,500 towards energy efficiency improvements including air sealing, duct sealing, insulation and lighting.
Image Credit: Flickr - zieak