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No-cost home improvements that cut your energy bills
Everyone is dealing with the incredibly sudden impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. One of those impacts includes people now spending a whole lot more time at home than would otherwise normally be the case. No one knows how long we will need to be in “hunker down” mode to get through this crisis, which means many folks will be looking for things they can do at home when they’re not working remotely. In this article, we’ll outline how you can leverage some of this extra time at home into saving significant amounts of money through home energy savings.
Home Energy Savings: A No-Cost Way to Start Paying Less for Energy Now
As the new coronavirus outbreak pushes the economy into recession, people will need ways to save money, and your energy bills are a great place to do exactly that. In fact, you could start saving money on your energy bills right away without opening your wallet or purse. How? With a virtual no-cost Home Energy Assessment. This might sound too good to be true, since nothing comes at no-cost. But here’s the thing many don’t realize: You’ve already paid for a home energy assessment—you just have to claim it!
Every month on your utility statements (natural gas and/or electric bill) there’s a small line-item charge you’ll see called Energy Conservation. This is the “energy-efficiency fee” everyone pays that funds the Mass Save program, which in turn helps homeowners, renters, businesses, and landlords achieve greater energy efficiency in their homes and buildings.
What Happens During a Virtual No-Cost Home Energy Assessment?
An energy specialist will spend 2-3 hours doing a virtual inspecting your home and its energy systems to assemble a customized report showing you all the different things you could do to achieve greater energy efficiency and save money on your energy bills. The results of your home energy assessment will also reveal what other rebates and incentives you’re eligible for to achieve even more savings. In other words, you’ll know exactly what you can do to save money on energy, and you’ll also have a clear picture of how to move forward on making home energy savings happen.
While spending more time at home will probably mean using more energy than you normally would use, a home energy assessment is how you can start offsetting these costs right now with home energy savings. How? Because in addition to giving you a customized home energy efficiency report, you’re also eligible to have several different kinds of products installed in your home that will result in immediate savings, including the following:
- No-cost insulation: That's right, you pay nothing, and pile-up savings. Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways to prevent energy waste. Whether cooled air in summer or heated air in winter, the less energy that leaks out of your home the more money you save on your bills.
- ENERGY STAR® certified LED light bulbs: Did you see our previous article about CFL vs LED? It went into detail about how the LED light bulb, although it costs more up-front, saves more money over time than any other kind of light bulb. As part of your no-cost home energy assessment, you can have several LED light bulbs installed in your home at no cost to you.
- Advanced power strips: Everyone has more electronic devices than ever, and they can account for as much as 10% of your home electricity usage. Many of those devices, even when not being actively used, continue to consume “phantom power” whether they’re turned off or not. This can add up to $100 a year for a home with lots of devices and appliances. Advanced power strips (APS) help by making sure your idle electronic devices aren’t wasting electricity.
- Low-flow showerheads: How does a low-flow showerhead save money? It uses less water overall (without sacrificing water pressure), so if you pay a water bill, you’ll save money there. But even more importantly, when you use hot water, you’re heating less water with a low-flow showerhead, which means spending less money on energy to heat water.
- Faucet aerators: The same principles apply here. Faucet aerators result in using less water, which means spending less on heating water.
- Programmable thermostats: Programmable thermostats let you have much more precise control over the indoor temperature of your home, whether you’re talking about heating or cooling. If you work outside the home (yes, we’re looking past the current work-from-home situation many are in right now with the pandemic), you can set the weekday temperature of your home to drop in the winter or rise in the summer after you go to work, and then heat back up or cool back down in time for when you arrive home. During winter, most people also find a cooler nighttime temperature better for sleeping, and the programmable thermostat makes it easy to schedule temperature changes in your home that save money. You will be surprised at how much of a difference this precision control of your indoor climate can make on your energy bills! NEEECO installs Nest programmable thermostats—a brand that gets consistently great ratings from consumers and is part of the Google Home family of products.
A Silver Lining to the Dark Cloud of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
We all have to try to keep a positive attitude during the new coronavirus crisis, and this article is our way of showing you an unexpected silver—or “green”—lining to the COVID-19 cloud. You can offset increased energy use during this crisis as you spend more time at home by scheduling a virtual home energy assessment now. And when the crisis is over and things get back to normal, you’ll be spending less money thanks to ongoing home energy savings. But the starting point is the home energy assessment, which will be easy for you to schedule because, after all, you’re spending a lot more time at home now anyway, right?