A couple of months ago the Piedmont Environment Alliance asked me to do a little article for their newsletter, the PeaPod, about energy audits. So I did! Here it is:
When Piedmont Environmental Alliance asked me to write an article explaining why its members should get a home energy audit I had a simple answer ready: the reason to get a home energy audit is because the single most impactful thing that an American homeowner can do to cut down on energy consumption is to weatherize his or her home.
That’s right. Insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking the heck out of any leaks in your home impacts your carbon footprint more than anything else you can do in your life (as per the Encyclopedia of the Earth – http://www.eoearth.org/). More than eating organic and local, more than switching conventional lightbulbs to CFLs or LEDs (a great idea, by the way, which will more than pay for itself over time), and more than buying a hybrid vehicle. Yes, I said it: weatherizing your home is a bigger deal and has greater impact than driving a Prius, and at less than a tenth of the price.
- Fact: the biggest contributor to the average American’s carbon footprint (the amount of greenhouse gases an individual will use over his/her lifetime) is heating or cooling that person’s home.
- Next fact: By cutting the amount of energy it takes to heat a person’s home, one can snip a significant portion of one’s carbon footprint.
- Final fact: the most cost-effective way to cut down on the heating and cooling of a home is to weatherize that home so it’s as tight as it can be. The best way to form a plan of action for weatherizing? A home energy audit.
- Alternative energy sources are wonderful, but they’re expensive and the return on the investment pays out over many, many years. The return on the investment for an energy audit and weatherization? 2-3 years, on average.
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