In spite of the scientific data presented by the rest of the world and the push toward greener and more sustainable solutions, the Trump administration has made it clear that they don’t want to discuss matters of climate change and renewable energy and greener alternatives.
In spite of efforts by the White House to try to save the coal industry and curb the push toward sustainables, PR campaigns over the last decades have encouraged consumers to consider greener solutions. Consumers and utilities have embraced these changes not only for energy cost savings but in helping to reduce the effects of climate change.
Below are some ideas on how to reduce energy costs that homeowners can incorporate to reduce energy bills, add value to their homes and to help save the environment in spite of current U.S. energy policy.
- Switch to LED Lighting – Home lighting costs can make up approximately 25% of a utility bill each month. That cost can be reduced significantly simply by converting to LED bulbs rather than incandescent or even compact (CFL) bulbs. LED bulbs use 75 to 90 percent less energy than older types of bulbs. The price of LED bulbs has dropped 80% over the past few years. The cost may be slightly higher than traditional bulbs, however, LED bulbs last far longer.
- Install Solar Panels – Last week, President Trump added a 30% tariff on all solar panels imported from countries outside of the U.S. However, according to a recent article appearing in Forbes magazine, that isn’t likely to slow down the renewables revolution. The cost of solar panels has already fallen 70% since 2010 and is expected to fall an additional 50% by 2020. The increase in tariffs may increase the cost of adding solar panels to a roof by $600 – 800 for installation. This cost can be easily recouped in terms of energy savings in 2 -3 years.
- Upgrades to Energy-Star Appliances – Appliances today are not only “smart” and allow you to control them remotely from your smartphone or other smart home applications, but they also offer much more energy efficiency, too. Not every household has the same needs as far as space and features. Steve Lewis, founder of a Las Vegas AC repair company, suggests considering what your family needs are looking for an Energy Star label. “You can find the label right on the front of every new appliance wherever you buy them.”
- Use Reclaimed or Sustainable Building Materials – In addition to building salvage stores like Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Stores which provide reclaimed building materials, other companies are also offering sustainable alternatives for homeowners. Recycled cork panels, glass tile and glass countertops and insulation made of cellulose and other reclaimed materials have all found their way into the green home movement. Many of these alternatives are more energy efficient and have a longer life and resale value when homeowners make greener choices in remodeling and new construction.
Try out these options and you’ll be doing your part to save the environment and save some money in your pocketbook. If the government isn’t going to help us, we’ll have to do it ourselves.