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How Green Is Your Home?

Well, my home is white, but I did just paint my shutters and front door green because it is truly my favorite color. The word “green” gets thrown around a lot these days, usually not referring to the color scheme, but rather how something impacts the environment. If you’re like most, the interest or disinterest in “green” is not as much about the impact on the environment, but rather the impact on finances.

There are all kinds of cool new ways to save energy, but the cost of the newer technologies doesn’t always outweigh the savings. There are specific governmental agencies put in place to assist in the “green” movement. The Office of Energy and Renewable Energy (EERE) hosts a community of researchers and partners who are dedicated to developing cost-effective and energy saving solutions. They work with the Departments of Energy and local utilities to help buy down the cost of some of these solutions through tax incentives and rebates.

It should be noted that unless your system is broken, don’t fix it. That said, you aren’t going to save enough money by replacing your appliances to energy efficient to pay for themselves. However, if you need to replace an appliance because it is no longer working, the energy efficient product will usually pay for itself over the life of the product. Also to note, this is usually where you will find significant rebates.

However, upgrading your lighting will usually pay for itself very quickly. The average incandescent, standard screw-in lightbulb draws about 60 Watts. The LED equivalent will draw 8 Watts. So, assuming you have that light bulb on for an average of 5 hours/day 7 days a week, you’ll save 95 kWh the first year. This is between $11-15 savings, depending on your utility rate for one bulb in one year. The cost of the standard LED screw-in light bulb is $3, so it paid for itself the first few months.

Bottom line, spend your money on the light bulbs, pocket the cost savings and use it upgrade your appliances when they are broken. You should have enough saved in the first two years to cover a least one of the appliances, depending on the existing lights in your home.

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