Archive for the ‘Utility Bills’ Category

A Worldwide Energy Transition

November 6, 2014

energy

Last month, as we celebrated Energy Action month, we took a look at the Residential Energy Consumption Survey.  It showed that we are using more energy than ever before.  Efforts are being made not only nationwide, but worldwide to improve that number.  The Energiewende is what they are calling it and Germany is leading the push.  The New York Times writes, “Germany will soon be getting 30 percent of their power from renewable energy sources.  Many smaller countries are beating that, but Germany is by far the largest industrial power to reach that level in the modern era.  It is more than twice the percentage in the United States.”

It sounds like we have some catching up to do and we, at GreenHomes, couldn’t agree more.  There’s no better place to start saving energy than our homes.  Making your home more energy efficient whether that’s through proper air sealing and insulation, a right-sized AC or furnace, or even solar panels, can all help decrease our energy consumption.  And, if it helps, saving energy in your home will leave you more comfortable and lower your utility bills.

Read the full New York Times article referenced above, here:  http://goo.gl/5wYV37

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Is Your Home Energy Efficient?

October 23, 2014

Infographic

Pictured above is a snapshot of an infographic about your home’s efficiency.  The full version can be found on our website.  Our homes are one of the biggest investments we make in our lifetime.  We, as homeowners, should be determined in getting the most out of our home and that starts with its energy efficiency.  There are many ways you can make your home more energy efficient on your own like we talked about in our last post, Home Energy Saving Tips.  Kudos to you if you began to implement them!

There are, however, a number of things in your home that can’t be seen by the naked eye or fixed on your own.  For example, outside pollutants can seep into your home through small holes built into the structure of the home.  This isn’t something you would see.  It often translates itself into uneven temperatures in your home or unhealthy living conditions.  If you are experiencing either of these, the chances are you won’t find the culprit.  Since a lot of the holes are in the structure of the home, they will be behind walls or between floors where our naked eye cannot see.

At GreenHomes, we understand home efficiency.  We know the importance of conserving our resources and our pocketbooks.  And we specialize in home energy audits.  A home energy audit uses tools that can identify the holes that may be in the structure in your home.  It does more too.  We can tell you where energy is being used, where you are losing energy, and how you can save energy.  And of course, with saving energy, comes saving money.  Not to mention, your home will be more comfortable than ever before.

Feel free to share this post with a neighbor; let’s all play a part in saving energy this October!

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Energy Action Month, our favorite!

October 2, 2014

shutterstock_46711030Every October, we celebrate, along with the nation, Energy Action Month.  Its call on us is simple, take action.  With all the energy we use on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to step back from time to time and see where we can save energy for future generations.  We don’t want to use up all of our resources before our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids get to enjoy them.  From what the Residential Energy Consumption Survey tells us, we are using more energy than we ever have before!  Here at GreenHomes America, we focus primarily on home energy.  Each homeowner has an opportunity to not only save energy, but also save money.  For example, if you use a programmable thermostat, you will save energy and  an estimated $180 a year.  There are more examples like this one on our Energy Action Month fact sheet.

The first step, though, is to find out where your home is using and losing energy with a home energy audit.  From there, you can join the forces in saving energy and save money while you’re at it.

Share this post with anyone who owns a home.  Help save energy and help them save money.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Calling all Americans!

September 17, 2014

truck_house_for banner

On September 17, 1787 thirty-nine men signed the Constitution.  Our founding fathers, as we call them, helped secure things like life, liberty, freedom and prosperity by forming and signing this document.  To commemorate them we celebrate Constitution Day every September 17th.  We couldn’t be more proud to join in on the celebration.  America is where we live and work.  We know our opportunities and freedoms exist because of this document and the men behind it.  Humbly, we have committed ourselves to conserving America’s resources as much as possible to help elongate its sustainability.  Our forte is in conserving energy on the residential front with services like a home energy audit.  It’s our way of giving back to America.

Thank you to our founding fathers who, with bravery, founded this great nation.  We celebrate you.  We also celebrate all those who have died for this country to keep us free.  We couldn’t be more proud to have America in our name.

Happy Constitution Day!

Thanks for stopping by,

April

Are you ready for some football?

September 11, 2014

Football fans chearing on their team

It is official, we have begun another season of football.  Last Thursday, the 4th was the official kick off to the NFL season between the Seahawks and the Packers.  26.9 million people tuned into to watch these two teams battle for victory.  As the season progresses we can only expect those numbers to climb.  As those in your home tune into football, make sure you aren’t wasting money at the hands of your TV.  Our friends at ENERGY STAR have developed a list of the most energy efficient televisions in 2014 in three different categories:  Televisions under 35 inches, Televisions from 35 inches to 50 inches and Televisions over 50 inches.  Go ahead and check them out.  Whether your team wins or loses, at least you are saving money through it all.

While your TV can provide some relief on your utility bills, try other energy saving techniques like changing out your incandescent light bulbs or getting a home energy audit.

And, best of luck to your team this season.

Thanks for stopping by!

-April

Stop Heating your Home this Summer

July 31, 2014

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, out of the total household’s energy usage, 6% is devoted to air conditioning.  Each homeowner is spending around $11 billion to power their air conditioner.  That is quite an investment.  Too easily we cost ourselves more money trying to cool our homes by what appliances we use.  Here are a few tips on how to avoid heating your home in the summer:
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  • Cook outside. Ovens and stoves create extra heat in your house.
  • Get rid of those incandescents. They are producing heat with 75% of the electricity they consume.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Take short showers, no baths.
  • Turn off computers, curling irons, hair dryers, stereos and televisions. They are all generating heat.

Our homes are where we should be most comfortable.  We can increase our comfort and decrease our utility bills by eliminating some of the heat we produce.  Your AC is already working overtime for you.  Give it a break and leave the heat generation to the sun.

Share this post with a neighbor and help them cool off this summer.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

Desperate for a Cool Down?

July 10, 2014

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As summer continues to heat up, we all end up desperate for a cool down.  Nothing is more frustrating than running the AC constantly and still having hotspots in our homes or hot rooms!  I won’t even mention those high utility bills.  Good news!  There are options to look into that can help even out the temperatures in your home, reduce your utility bill and give you that cool down you are looking for.

  1. Get an energy audit – Here’s a video to help explain.
  2. Do the improvements – We usually start with Air Sealing.  You could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades that a home energy audit can identify.  (U.S. Department of Energy)
  3. Enjoy your comfortable home – Go ahead, picture it.

We all need a break from the heat, sometimes a cool drink or a scoop of ice cream just doesn’t cut it.  Give yourself a more lasting cool down, keep the heat outside.  Relax, save money and be cool in the comfort of your own home.

Feel free to share this post with your fellow homeowners.  Let’s not leave anyone desperate for a cool down.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

It’s vacation time!

June 24, 2014

If you have plans to travel this summer, ensure your home will be in good shape when you go. The sun is out and you should be too, but keeping your home safe and energy costs down is important. Vacation Here are a few tips:

  • Use a programmable thermostat.  Depending on where you live, programmable thermostats can help regulate the temperature and humidity in your home.  When programming it, remember you don’t need to cool your home as much when you are away and no one is home.
  • Check your insulation.  Believe it or not, having enough insulation and duct work that works properly can help reduce your energy costs.  Let us explain, watch this short video.
  • Leave a light on, but only if it’s a CFL or LED.  It’s good to leave a light on or two maintain the appearance of being home.   Save money and energy by using CFL’s or LED’s.  Changing your lightbulbs is an easy thing to do.  More facts about lightbulbs can be found here.
  • If no one’s using hot water, turn it off.  If you plan on being gone for a while, think twice about leaving your electric water heater on.  Turning it off at the breaker will help you reduce energy costs.  Your water heater might even have a vacation setting too.

Have a safe trip!

 

Photo from MrJack  on http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sonnenaufgang_Frankreich.JPG

Bills on the Rise? Freezing, Overheating? Take a Clue from Survival on the High Seas

February 28, 2014

Nobody wants to hear about rising energy costs. For utility customers in New York, prices have going up this winter. Some of it was an accounting error, but increased demand for Natural Gas due to the swerving polar vortex helped.
Propane costs have gone up too, article from Kansas Cityreferences pricing as high as $5 a gallon. ship at seaAll of this reminds me of the days when crude oil prices were all over the proverbial road, never mind a little swerving polar vortex.
It’s not just about heating and cold winters. California is experiencing a lack of winter which sounds kind of nice coming from the Northeast. They are also seeing a drought and I’d expect a long hot summer which means an expensive cooling season ahead.
We can’t control fuel prices, but we can take control of our homes. There’s a great thing in being able to “weather the storm”. In our homes, that means comfort, but also peace of mind that we are protected from the elements. Integrating resilience, in our homes is as simple as insulating a home well and air sealing it properly. It is like preparing for a long voyage across the sea, and helps when weather or high fuel costs hit us broadside. Batten down the hatches!

Thanks,
Jason

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivan_Aivazovsky_-_Ship_in_the_Stormy_Sea.jpg

Energy Efficient Candles?

December 23, 2013

In the rapid fire rush of holidays this time of year, we often forget to pay attention to some of the smaller details.  Like how dark it’s getting!  When the days are shorter we tend to turn on the lights sooner.  It’s no wonder a number of holidays this time of year are focused on lights!

candle

Since I’ve recently weathered an ice storm and power outages here in the Northeast, this thought is fresh in my mind:  one candle may produce tens or a maybe hundreds of Btu’s of energy depending on its size and wax make up.  But what does this little light and the few Btu’s produced mean?

An average household in the U.S. uses 90 million Btu’s for lighting, heating and cooling.  During this time of year a lot of this is lighting!  Think of all those tens or hundreds of Btu’s you use in your home no matter what the “candle” really is!

While I’m not sure there is a more energy efficient candle, (makes me think of a more efficient Flintstone’s car), we can change light bulbs and strings of lights that offer safety and savings all in one.  This is a festive time of year, turn on the lights, keep yourself warm and give yourself the gift of energy efficient “candles” whatever they may really be.

Happy Holidays from all of us at GreenHomes America!

Jason

Image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Einzelne_Kerze.JPG

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