In addition to Federal action on a Carbon Fee (discussed in last weeks blog), there are many steps that you can take to reduce your energy footprint and your out-of-pocket costs. This is important especially if you are relying on fossil fuels for some or all of your energy. It’s also important to take these steps not just because they will reduce your carbon emissions and will lower your costs, but because it will send a message of action and hope to your neighbors, friends, governments, and businesses all across the country.
Let me put this in the context of a few of the things that we did in our home – so I know first hand that they can be done.
Once our kids moved out of the house, we realized we did not need so much space. We did not want to have to clean or maintain it all – or pay a mortgage on it. We sold that home and bought a nice home that is half the size. No mortgage, no exterior maintenance (condo), and a lot less cleaning. The new home is much closer to most everything we do so we are using a lot less gas and are considering going to one car. Our quality of life has, in fact, increased with a lot less time going into household chores, filling up the gas tank and driving. Furthermore, because of all these steps, we cut our emissions and electrical costs in half – and got rid of the mortgage. By the way, the view is awesome.
We then had our local utility, BG&E, come in for $100 to do an energy audit. They replaced our light bulbs with more efficient ones, installed a water reducer in the showers and sinks, and found several areas where we could make our living space tighter. They also set us up for energy saving days where they can manage our hot water heater and electrical supply. This has saved us $100s of dollars per year with no real inconvenience.
We also replaced our HVAC system to a much more efficient system, insulated our attic crawl space, and replaced our windows. Our home is now quieter and snugger and our electricity costs have dropped significantly – again.
Heating and cooling our homes and offices is one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and something we can reduce by taking action – today. Call your local utility for an audit and advice on saving money and saving the climate. It will be well worth your time.