How to Make Choices that Count for a Clean Energy Future
The transition to a clean energy future has begun. More of the electricity we use is being generated from clean, renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels which pollute the air and contribute to climate change.
Communities around the country are leading the way, and now is the time for you and your family to join this transition by using energy wisely. Read on to learn the top 3 ways you can make your energy choices count for a healthier climate, energy bill savings and the improved health and comfort of your home.
#1 -Save with ENERGY STAR
Using less energy will help us transition to clean, renewable energy. The less energy you use, the less we need to generate and the more money you save on household energy bills while reducing your overall carbon footprint.
If you are purchasing products for your home or office, look for the ENERGY STAR. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to save energy and help protect the climate. You can find the ENERGY STAR on products in more than 75 categories such as efficient heat pumps, water heaters, refrigerators, laundry equipment, pool pumps, smart thermostats, and light bulbs.
A typical house equipped with ENERGY STAR certified products save about $6,500 on energy bills over the life of the products.
ENERGY STAR certified products are easy to find. They are made and sold by brands and retailers you know and trust with over 2,000 manufacturers and 1,900 retailers across the country who partner with ENERGY STAR to offer consumers certified products. The ENERGY STAR Product Finder is a great place to begin your search for certified products. You can find brand names, model numbers, product details and in some instances, price and retailer information to help narrow your search.
Save Even More with Rebates!
Many ENERGY STAR utility partners offer rebates on ENERGY STAR certified products. If you are planning to purchase new products for your home, visit the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder and enter your zip code to see if there are any rebates in your area that you would be eligible for.
#2 Switch to Green Power
A clean energy future involves transitioning to renewables as our source of energy. Renewable energy comes from constantly replenished natural sources such as solar, wind, water and geothermal.
As of 2020, renewables are second only to natural gas (and ahead of coal and nuclear) in the amount of electricity produced. By choosing to use clean, renewable energy instead of non-renewable, polluting fossil fuels to power your home, you are supporting a cleaner energy supply and making a positive impact in the fight against climate change. Take advantage of opportunities in your community to choose green power as the energy source for your home.
#3 Prepare for a Clean Energy Future with an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade
An ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade is a series of six high-impact, energy efficiency improvements for your home, including upgrading to heat pump technology for heating, cooling and water heating. The elements of a home upgrade are designed to work together to deliver significant energy and costs savings – on average, more than $500 – while helping you transition from fossil fuels for a cleaner, healthier, and more comfortable home.
Choose the improvements that make the most sense for your home and implement them at your own pace. An ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade includes:
- Clean and efficient heating and cooling with a certified air source heat pump - More efficient than furnaces or boilers, heat pumps serve double duty with heating and cooling, making this investment usable year-round.
- Super-efficient hot water with a certified heat pump water heater- A heat pump water heater that earns the ENERGY STAR label, is up to 4 times more efficient and uses 70 percent less energy than a standard water heater.
- Smart climate controls with a certified smart thermostat - A smart thermostat unit itself doesn’t use a lot of energy, but it controls devices that use a lot of energy through heating and cooling. Only smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.
- High-performing ENERGY STAR certified windows and storm windows – Windows that earn the ENERGY STAR are an important part of an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade because they meet performance criteria that are better than basic building code requirements and vary by climate, reducing the energy waste associated with a leaky home and improving comfort.
- A well-insulated and sealed attic – One of the most important things you can do to reduce the air leaks that contribute to energy waste and make your home less comfortable is to make sure your attic is well-sealed and properly insulated.
- Making your home electric ready – Make sure your home has the proper wiring and circuitry to handle an EV charger or other electricity requirements in your ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade.
Making these high-impact choices to improve your home will help you be a part of the transition to a clean energy future and improve the health of our planet.
Author: Denise Minor-Hoes, ENERGY STAR Certified Products