The Unseen Green

Sustainable Frederick CountyA well-sealed and insulated home inhabited by energy conscious people might not shout “I’m Green!” the way a solar panel or windmill might, but its energy savings can be just as rewarding! Energy conservation and efficiency, while not so visible on the outside, are great ways to start going green while saving “green”!

With so many possible energy saving actions and home improvements, how do you get the most bang for your buck? Start with a home performance assessment or energy audit. An expert can help you identify the real problem areas in your home so you can maximize your effectiveness.

Also, don’t underestimate the big impact behavior and choices can have on your energy usage! Here’s The Short List* of the most effective actions to help you start saving energy and money:

Potential Energy Saved by most effective FREE Actions —> Up to…
Heating: Lower thermostat to 68o F (day) and 65o F(night). —> 2.8%
Wash and rinse clothes with cold water. —> 1.2%
Line dry laundry 7 months of year. (MD law forbids clothesline prohibition!) —> 1.1%
Turn down water heater to 120 degrees F. —> 0.7%
Watch 25% fewer hours of TV each day. —> 0.6%
Don’t leave 1 60 Watt incandescent bulb on all night. —> 0.5%
Turn up refrigerator to 38 degrees F; Turn up freezer 0 degrees F. —> 0.5%
TOTAL Potential Savings for FREE! —> Up to 7.4 % or ~ $300/yr.

Potential Energy Saved by INVESTING in Efficiency —> Up to…
Upgrade Attic Insulation and ventilation. —> 7.0%
Install more efficient heating and A/C units.  —> 5.1%
Replace 85% of all incandescent light bulbs with CFLs.  —> 4.0%
Replace poor windows with high efficiency windows.  —> 3.7%
Caulk & weatherstrip your home.  —> 2.5%
Replace a pre-2001 refrigerators with a new Energy Star unit.  —> 1.9%
Install a more efficient water heater (EFS .7 unit)  —> 1.5%
Replace a 48″ Plasma HD TV with a 52″ Projection HD TV (LDC)  —> 1.3%
Replace a pre-2001 clothes washer with new Energy Star unit.  —> 1.1%
Total Potential Savings with Investment —> Up to 28.1% or ~ $1000/yr.

The Green Homes Challenge is also a great resource for your power saving journey! [2011 Western MD Solar Tour]




*Gerald T. Gardner and Paul C. Stern, 2008, The Short List: The Most Effective Actions U.S. Households Can Take to Curb Climate Change, Environment Magazine, September/October 2008 Issue.