Where to Begin: Navigating Your Way to Energy Savings
A lot of energy-saving advice comes to us word-of-mouth—whether we seek it or not! A neighbor might mention the great incentive she just got to replace an aging furnace. A relative might suggest upgrading to LED light bulbs, or a work colleague getting an energy audit for his home might recommend one.
With so many possibilities, it can be hard to know where to begin. What energy upgrade would realize the most savings in the least amount of time? How quickly might the dividends from a larger project cover the associated energy loans costs?
If you want to survey your options and set priorities for energy upgrades, spend some time on Efficiency Maine ’s Resources for Homeowners webpage. From here, you can take a 5-minute Virtual Tour of the incentives available for energy upgrades throughout your home.
Another calculator offers a quick estimate of how much you might save each year with a different home heating system. Each heating system listed is hyperlinked to pages that provide you with more background, case studies, and—not least of all—details on the available incentives and financing.
A third calculator lets you make a similar assessment of your water heating system—to see whether an upgrade to a more efficient heater unit might pay for itself quickly.
The Resources page may convince you that you need more information before deciding which energy-saving projects make the most sense. In that case, consider borrowing an electricity monitor test how much energy your household appliances draw. If the home-efficiency calculator signaled that your house consumes more energy than the average home, consider using the Vendor Locator tool to find an energy advisor who can assess your home, and recommends specific improvements. (Efficiency Maine offers incentives to help with this home audit, and even cover some preliminary air sealing.)
While you’re waiting to learn about the best big projects to tackle, there are still small steps you can take. The Resources page offers more than two dozen money-saving tips and even helps you find the best prices on high-efficiency light bulbs.