A few years ago we had the utility company come out and do an energy audit of our home. We came away with lots of great suggestions for improving the efficiency of our home. After adding more attic insulation, caulking electrical outlets and switch plates, installing efficient appliances and changing out all the lighting to high efficiency bulbs, we are still saving money everyday! We also replaced the windows to improve the ‘envelope’ of our 1979 home. No more drafty window sills!
In just 3 days (January 2) we will have our first 2014 Eco Family Virtual conference online gathering! Families have been looking at the resources and taking action to conserve energy in their home. You can too! Join us for 6 months of great sustainable living topics!
Conserving energy saves money on utility bills and reduces our impact on the environment. Renewable energy is produced by methods that can be used over and over again, unlike fossil fuels (natural gas, oil, coal) that are burned once and done. Clean energy is a term that is used for energy production like wind and solar that do not pollute the environment in the process. In Iowa about 20% of the electricity produced is from wind power. Solar doesn’t make the charts yet in Iowa, but the technology is already being used in commercial applications all over the state. Even residential settings are getting into the act. If you buy electricity from Alliant, in Iowa, you have until midnight tonight to take advantage of solar rebates and tax incentives for solar installation. There are also some federal and state tax incentives for solar. Fairfield has made the most progress of any town in Iowa with solar energy production. Farmers Electric Cooperative, near Kalona, Iowa, is a small town cooperative doing its part to supplement the power it distributes with on-site generation from renewable sources. The new Facebook Data Center going up near Altoona, Iowa will be powered by 100% wind power.
We had a solar assessment done for our home and it is a good renewable option for us. We are saving the money to do the installation in the next few years. Hopefully, costs will decrease as the technology improves. I have friends who installed solar this year and they had fun watching their meter run backwards during the summer. Even winter months produce enough to offset electricity costs most days.
How are you conserving electric energy in your home this year? Tell us about it in the comment section of this blog!