The One Simple Tool to Decrease Your Energy Bills

The lesser-known but very powerful method that helps optimize your financial (and literal!) comfort.

Friday, Jan 6, 2012  |  Updated 10:00 AM PDT
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How to Decrease Your Energy Bills

This article is sponsored by the Santa Clara County 80% Home Energy Assessment Rebate, a local incentive program designed to educate homeowners about home efficiency. Learn more by following Santa Clara CountyEnergy Upgrades on Facebook today!

A relatively small upfront expense can save you big money in the long run  -- and if that weren't true, you'd still be renting.

So when it comes to one of a homeowner's largest recurring expenses -- hello, ever-higher energy bills! -- it makes sense to consider a long-term strategy that ensures you'll be spending the least amount necessary for years to come.

Does that mean replacing drafty windows? Giving the heater a tune-up? Replacing your ductwork? Maybe. Those are certainly time-honored methods. You could spend a lot of time diagnosing and tackling potential problems, but how would you know if what you’re fixing is the first priority? Or second? Or whether a specific fix you made isn't undermined by yet another problem you didn't even know about?

What you need is a holistic understanding of how your home works -- and you need a plan. And that's where a home energy assessment comes in.

A home energy assessment determines how much energy your home consumes and prescribes measures for making your home more efficient.

To complete an assessment, a contractor will determine problem areas by using advanced equipment -- e.g., blower doors to measure the extent of leaks in your home's envelope, and infrared cameras to reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.

After the assessment, the contractor discusses the findings and suggests improvements. Voila, you have your very own energy efficiency plan. By following that plan, you're likely to see significant savings month over month.

Santa Clara is currently offering an 80% rebate on home energy assessments, which means your initial upfront cost is even lower.

Take action now by finding the right participating contractor for you. Go to sccgov.org.

And to stay in the know about home energy and sustainability, make sure to like Santa Clara County Energy Upgrades on Facebook.

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