Reducing your home energy use is the best of win-win deals — not only does it reduce your carbon footprint, it also saves you big bucks on your energy bills. That’s especially exciting when you consider that many home energy improvements are fast, easy and inexpensive. Often, the savings from an individual project are small, but when you start putting them together they add up quickly.My family set a goal of cutting our total energy use, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in half, and we were able to meet that goal with the help of these simple home projects. We found these reductions in our energy use easy to accomplish without making any significant lifestyle changes.
Here are the details: We cut our total energy use from 93,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year to 38,000 kWh per year. This has reduced our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 17 tons! Our rate of return on the money we invested in this program is more than 50 percent — tax free.
Altogether, we took on 22 different projects, including two solar heating efforts that have already appeared in Mother Earth News. But those I’ll explain in the following pages are the fast, simple ones. These eight easy home improvement projects cost us about $400 and will save us at least $9,000 over the next 10 years.