Six low-cost ways to reduce your home energy use

Last updated on March 16th, 2024 at 02:07 pm

By Noah Buhayar
Posted Thu Jan 3, 2008 11:17am PST

Noah Buhayar is a fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

The Rocky Mountain Institute recently compiled energy usage information for the typical American household. We found more than 30 ways that most people can reduce the amount of energy they use at home — without freezing in the dark.

Last week, my colleague shared with you nine no-cost ways to cut your home’s energy consumption, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money.

That’s good news this time of year as home heating costs soar and we start to pay off all our holiday credit card bills.

Here are six more easy ways to reduce your home energy use and pad your pocketbook. For the average homeowner, each of these actions should keep a ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere for less than $20 (about the price of a high-quality carbon credit):

CO2 saved
$ saved
Cost of saved carbon
Install a programmable thermostat 1,071 $58.10 $9.34
Seal large air leaks in your home 1,489 $80.76 $10.07
Insulate your water heater 263 $14.95 $12.66
Add insulation in your attic 2,142 $116.20 $15.56
Seal and insulate your HVAC ducts 1,512 $81.90 $17.64
Install efficient showerheads 370 $21.01 $18.02
Total saved per year: 6,847 $372.92

Remember that these calculations are based on the “average” American home. Since everybody’s home is a little bit different, you may want to consider a more detailed energy audit before undertaking home improvements.

That way you can make sure you’re choosing the steps that will save you the most money and have the deepest impact on your house’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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