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The Dougherty Family

Meet the Dougherty Family

Edward and Nancy Dougherty live in Beaverton, Oregon, with their cat, Barley, in a 1963 ranch-style home they have owned for over 30 years. Ed, 63, is a retired federal employee and Nancy, 61, is a schoolteacher.

Why They Decided to Make Changes

The Doughertys have lived in their home for 30 years. While they have made efforts to conserve energy through the years, they knew that their home needed updating. Edward had added energy-efficient windows and sealed air leaks, but knew more improvements were needed. The Doughertys learned that the Energy Trust of Oregon offered incentives for updating their house. An Energy Trust of Oregon Home Energy advisor surveyed the house and recommended installing a high-efficiency gas furnace, insulation, and faucet aerators.

Brief Overview of Home Improvements

The Doughertys insulated their attic and interior walls. They also replaced their old gas furnace, sealed outlets, put in a new thermostat, installed faucet aerators, and changed all of the lighting in their home to ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulbs.

What the Dougherty Family Did to Save Energy

The Doughertys’ home was extremely drafty and lost a lot of heat through the walls. They added insulation to the basement, ceiling, attic, and walls to keep heat indoors. They also replaced an old gas furnace and thermostat. Their new ENERGY STAR qualified thermostat is now programmed to fit their daily routine. To conserve water and to use less energy heating the water, they installed aerators on all faucets. The family also installed outlet safety plugs, sealed doors, and changed their light bulbs to ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lighting. They wash their clothes in cold water and line-dry clothing in the summer.

Results of the Improvements

The results are quite clear for the Doughertys. They are using less energy, winter drafts are gone, and the new insulation makes their home pleasantly quiet. Energy Trust estimated they are saving 520 kilowatt hours per year — an annual savings of $332.

Additional Plans for Home Improvement

The Dougherty’s next project will be to remodel their kitchen. Small but functional, it has remained largely unchanged since the 1960s. They plan to replace all the appliances with ENERGY STAR qualified models.

Advice from the Family

  • Pay attention to your local utilities. They generally keep customers informed of ways to save money and make homes more energy efficient. Also visit the ENERGY STAR Web site for ideas.

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