Because it’s in everyone’s best interests to lower our energy consumption, there’s a surprising amount of tools out there to promote energy conservation. Here’s a look at a few resources offered right online.
ENERGY STAR Calculators
The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set strict guidelines for products to prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Products that meet these high standards are awarded with an ENERGY STAR designation. They’ve also made it possible to see how much energy and money these ENERGY STAR products can save with interactive calculators.
The calculators vary from product to product but they’re all designed to provide a ballpark of savings. For example, the calculator for an ENERGY STAR central air conditioner has you choose your city and fill in such information as your electric rate, cost of the unit, and its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating – or you can just use their average default values. Then it calculates how much you can save with an ENERGY STAR central air conditioner and gives you a summary of benefits, which in this case is the following:
ENERGY STAR Home Advisor
With the ENERGY STAR Home Advisor program, you create an online profile of your home’s energy use. It then analyzes your data and gives you customized recommendations on how you can improve your energy efficiency. Then, you can create a to-do list and keep track of your progress, making it easier to manage the process and ultimately, save more energy. Pretty cool, huh? Check it out.
Energy Incentives by State
DSIRE – a nationally-funded initiative at the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University – makes it easy to see what incentives are available in your particular state with an interactive map of the U.S. You click on your state, choose a program type and a technology, then a list of incentives appears. It also lists the latest policies that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Updated in real-time through database content, it’s the most comprehensive resource of this type of information in the nation. Take a look at the incentives offered in your state. It’s encouraging to see that so many rewards and policies are in place to help shape a more efficient future.