Energy Efficiency – What Can the Average Joe Do?
With gas prices again on the rise, the topic of energy efficiency seems as relevant as ever. What can the average citizen really do to have a significant impact?
To answer the question, simply log onto the US Government’s website www.energy.gov. Click on “Energy Efficiency” and explore the opportunities to make even minor changes around your home that would have an impact not only to the pocket book but also to the environment.
This website gives information about assessing your home for energy efficiency. This type of audit can be done by a professional or by you, the homeowner. There are detailed instructions on what areas to cover including air leaks, insulation, heating and cooling equipment and lighting.
Even simple things such as landscaping can provide energy savings. As everyone knows, using trees to shade your home can save you money during the summer months. However, using them to also provide a windbreak can add savings in the winter months. Using rain barrels to catch rain water can save you money by providing a water source for your garden without ever using the tap. And rain barrels are something you can learn about and obtain locally. Rain barrel workshops are offered by the Avon Lake City Engineer, Joe Reitz and have been advertised right here in the Press.
Another way to save money is to consider replacing older appliances which were manufactured before programs for energy efficiency came into existence. Most people are familiar with Energy Star® which is a joint program between the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency. It encourages manufacturers to make products which provide both the energy efficiency and the protection for the environment, e.g. by reducing emissions. The website reports that by replacing your old clothes washer you could save 6700 gallons of water of a year. It also claims that the money you save with the new washer’s energy efficiency would pay for a new clothes dryer over the lifetime of the washer.
Who knew that so much great information was just a click away. Log on to find out more.
This article is brought to you by the City of Avon Lake’s Environmental Affairs Advisory Board (EAAB). To learn more, go to www.avonlake.org.