Energy efficiency isn’t just better for the environment, it’s great for your finances, too. With these basic tips you can save on energy costs while making a positive, sustainable impact on your community. 

Conduct a Home Energy Audit

Begin your journey toward energy efficiency by conducting a home energy audit. This assessment provides you with a comprehensive understanding of how much energy your home uses and which areas have impacted consumption most significantly. Plus, it helps you identify key inefficiencies that are costing you money, such as air leaks or faulty insulation, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize.

Luckily, many local utility companies offer free audit services using the Home Energy Score — a simple rating system to assess your home's energy performance. You can find a partner who can score your home here.

Or, if you prefer the do-it-yourself route, you can conduct a rudimentary audit using the Department of Energy’s guidance. It may not be as thorough, but it’ll help you pinpoint the easiest and most immediate improvements. 

Weatherize Your Home 

Weatherizing your home is essential to ensure that energy used for heating and cooling isn’t wasted through leaks or poor insulation. Sealing uncontrolled air leaks, including those in air ducts, can save you between 10-20% on heating and cooling bills. Upgrading insulation to Energy Star-recommended levels further enhances efficiency.

Additionally, consider exploring programs like the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which can save households an average of $372 or more annually on energy costs. In short, the WAP provides weatherization services, such as appliance upgrades and other improvements, to low-income households across the country.

Optimize Heating and Cooling 

Heating and cooling systems typically account for a significant portion of a home’s energy usage. Installing an Energy Star-certified smart thermostat can optimize settings for energy savings and provide valuable data on energy usage patterns. You can also explore newer technologies like heat pumps, which offer enhanced efficiency.

Keep an eye out for government incentives and rebates for upgrading to more efficient heating and air-conditioning systems. Many states are planning to launch new programs in 2024.

Monitor Your Water Heating 

Water heating represents a substantial portion of a home’s energy consumption — and fortunately, it’s easy to address. There are many simple practices you can use to maximize efficiency, such as:


Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances 

Investing in energy-efficient appliances is a smart move to further reduce energy consumption. Additionally, adjusting usage patterns, such as running appliances only when necessary and air-drying dishes, can maximize savings. 

Try Sustainable Design Strategies 

Embrace energy-efficient design principles to maximize efficiency in every season. Landscaping, as well as window, door and roof technology, can help to keep your home comfortable year-round.

For example, planting trees and shrubs for shade can reduce cooling costs in summer, while energy-efficient windows and doors minimize heat loss in winter. Consider the needs of your local climate when repairing and weatherizing your windows.

Passive solar design is another effective strategy to consider. This involves orienting your home to take advantage of the sun’s heat. South-facing windows, slab flooring, heat-absorbing walls, distribution systems that move heat around the house and other design elements can bring more natural light into your home and significantly reduce heating costs.

Look Out For Tax Credits

Don't overlook the potential tax credits available for purchasing energy-efficient products and appliances. These incentives reward homeowners for their green efforts, providing additional motivation to invest in sustainability.

Get Started Today

Achieving energy efficiency in your home is not as daunting as it may seem. By following these simple yet impactful tips and taking advantage of available programs and incentives, you can lower your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future for yourself and generations to come.

This content is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.