Small life changes you can make to be more sustainable
Use less energy and save more money with the help of energy efficiency programs in your area.
Ensuring an energy-efficient home requires a whole concept approach. From attic to basement and everything in between, a variety of potential upgrades and improvements can make for cooler summers, warmer winters and more cash in your wallet all year round. Take advantage of available energy efficiency programs in your area and embark on a “less is more” approach to energy. Saving for a rainy day is one thing, but saving on energy costs well into the future means you’re going to need a larger piggy bank.
Upgrading your heating system and temperature controls can reduce energy costs throughout the life of the equipment. For example, a new ENERGY STAR-certified natural gas furnace will be 12 to 16 percent more efficient than standard models. That can equate to savings of $36 to $96 per year in energy costs. For a piece of equipment that could last 15 to 20 years, it is important to choose a highly efficient option that allows you to save for many years to come. As part of the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency initiative, Washington Gas offers a variety of rebates to Maryland customers for the following high-efficiency appliances and equipment: furnace ($300), tankless water heater ($180 for homeowner, $50 for contractor), storage water heater ($50), programmable thermostat ($30), and WiFi-enabled thermostat ($100).
Funded by Washington Gas and Pepco ratepayers, the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) runs the District’s energy efficiency programs. DCSEU is a helpful resource for everything from choosing money-saving energy conservation tips to scheduling a home energy audit. For starters, take the home energy walk-through to see exactly where you stand on the energy spectrum and where you can begin saving. This easy-to-use tool addresses every aspect of a home, from windows and insulation to kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, boilers and more. Once your wishlist of improvements is complete, dcseu.com outlines valuable information on implementation. For ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, the website clearly spells out available rebates, buying guides and also maintenance tips to ensure optimal performance. For the most savings possible, DCSEU offers home energy audits. Once the audit is complete, take advantage of up to $1,800 in incentives when you complete energy efficiency improvements through a qualified “D.C. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR” contractor.
Space heating is the largest energy consumer in a home, typically accounting for over 40 percent of a home’s energy consumption. It is also an area where significant energy savings can be realized. Currently Washington Gas offers Virginia residents a $200 rebate on a natural gas furnace with 90 percent or greater annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) and a $30 rebate on a programmable thermostat.