In Maryland and many other states, local governments and utilities have partnered to create energy efficiency programs. Why? Because legislators know that lowering utility bills by reducing energy waste is good for the economy (so we can spend our money on stuff we want), so they passed a law. In Maryland, utilities have to reduce energy consumption by 2% per year. In looking for a standard method to implement a program focused on improving the efficiency of existing homes, many states selected a framework created by the US Department of Energy called Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.
Why should you trust Home Performance with ENERGY STAR? Track record, contractor training, and commitment.
- More than 640,000 Home Performance with ENERGY STAR projects have been completed since 2002.
- Each Home Performance with ENERGY STAR project saves $500 per year on average.
- To date, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR has saved enough energy to power more than 128,000 homes for one year.
- The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR network includes over 40 local programs and 1,500 home improvement contractors.
- Contractors involved with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR are certified by the Building Performance Institute for both energy audit competencies and construction competencies. These certifications cost money, time and reflect a commitment to quality for the limited number of contractors who obtain them.
- Participating contractors are licensed and insured.
- Participating contractors are the only ones who can get you rebates from your local utility program for doing energy efficiency improvements.
Home Performance focuses on 5 key areas.
- Sealing Air Leaks and Adding Insulation
- Sealing Ductwork
- Improving Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation (HVAC) Systems
- Replacing Windows
- Upgrading Lighting, Appliances and Water Heating Equipment
The more you do, the more money you can save, and the more comfortable your home will be. After you reduce the energy consumption of your home, a sixth project to consider is installing renewable energy systems. In order to make sure you properly size your solar or geothermal system, it’s important to take actions first to reduce energy requirements of your existing home so you don’t “overbuy” renewable capacity that you will not be able to use (remember, utilities usually buy energy from you at a lower price than they charge you to use energy from the grid).
All of these things are part of your energy and comfort plan. First step, schedule a Home Energy Audit. We’ll help you make a plan.
The Department of Energy created a new brochure called “Get More from Your Home” that describes the benefits of the program and how to get started.
To learn more: