The Energy Source

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Earth Day DIY Project: Assess Your Home’s Energy Use

How better to celebrate Earth Day than saving energy in your home? Join us as we count down to Earth Day—each week we will bring you a new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home project that you can complete in time for Earth Day. In each post, our EPA experts will walk you through step-by-step instructions for making your home more energy efficient. Whether you’re new to being green, or you’re an energy-saving savant, we’ve got the projects for you. Now, let’s get started!

Home Energy Assessment

Materials List and Stock Photo Week 1A home energy assessment is often the first step in making your home more efficient—“you can’t manage what you don’t measure” as they say. An assessment can help you gauge how much energy your home uses and get you ready to start saving energy with our weekly Earth Day projects!

The ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick uses the actual energy use of your home to determine how your home’s annual energy use compares to similar homes. It’s easy. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Gather your last 12 months of utility bills and basic information about your home (check out our handy materials list to the right!).

Step 2: Visit the ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick and start plugging in the information you gathered in Step 1.

Step 3: After you finish inputting all the data, press “Calculate my score.” Once you know how your home energy use compares to others, you can increase your Yardstick score by improving the efficiency of your home (and completing our Earth Day projects each week!). Click here to learn more on how the Yardstick works.

Step 4: Revisit the Yardstick each month (when your bills arrive) to see the impacts of the energy-efficient improvements you make to your home or changes in the way you operate it.

Remember— the Home Energy Yardstick is not meant to replace a home energy audit conducted by a professional and benchmarking alone doesn’t save energy!

Take it a Step Further

Save Even More: For the experienced energy-savers, here are some additional steps you can take.

  • ENERGY STAR Home Advisor: If you’re ready to take a deeper dive into evaluating your home’s energy efficiency, visit the ENERGY STAR Home Advisor. You can create a profile of your home’s energy efficiency features and get a prioritized list of energy-saving recommendations customized to your home. This tool also includes the Home Energy Yardstick mentioned above, allowing you to save your Yardstick score as part of your home’s profile without having to re-enter your information.
  • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR: Where available, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR can help you cost-effectively improve your home's energy efficiency. Specially-trained contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment, recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results, and help you to get the work done.
  • Hire a Professional: If you’re interested in getting specific recommendations for improving the efficiency of your home, consider contacting a professional Home Energy Rater. To find a Home Energy Rater, visit the ENERGY STAR for Homes Partner Locator.

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