Home Energy Conservation
If you are concerned about global climate change and the environmental damage caused by the extraction of fossil fuels (oil spills, air pollution, sprawl, wars, etc.) then you can demonstrate your concern by taking action in your personal life.
Start with your home. Record your usage of electricity (kilowatt hours) and heating fuel (gallons of oil or hundred cubic feet, ccf, of natural gas). This will establish a “baseline” of energy use per year, and it will create a stronger incentive to use less next year as you take various conservation measures. There’s a saying in the energy field that applies here: “If you don’t measure it, you won’t control it.”
Your first conservation measure should be a Home Energy Assessment and Upgrade subsidized by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. The service is called Home Energy Solutions. The value of this audit ranges from $450 to over $1000, depending on the “tightness” of your home, but you won’t pay that. Your cost is only a – $99 co-pay. For income-eligible residents, these services are offered with no co-pay. Contact us by clicking here and write “energy audit” in the space for the message, including your phone # if you wish to speak in person. We will provide with more information, or answer your questions about these programs.
There are generous incentives or subsidies for specific home energy improvements such as air sealing, insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and boilers, and other technologies that you can explore at a central website named EnergizeCT. For example, you can add insulaton and get a rebate of as much as 75%. (Program details vary from month to month and depend on multiple factors, so the above cost and rebate figures are only recent examples.)
More information about personal energy use can be found on the Jonah Center website here.
It is best, and often a program requirement, to take advantage of efficiency programs such as Home Energy Solutions (HES) and Home Performance With Energy Star before embarking on projects involving solar, ground source heat pumps, high efficiency boilers and furnaces, or “ductless mini-splits.” The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use, which costs zero dollars.