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Earth Day Tips: The Economics of Going Green

by Nicole on April 22, 2010

Home safety expert John Drengenberg, the Consumer Safety Director at Underwriter Laboratories (UL), has some great tips on the economics of going green that I wanted to share with you on this Earth Day:

Saving valuable resources is good for all of us, but it’s even more appealing when you realize that it’s good for your own pocketbook too. A few dollars here and there can add up to extra money you can spend where it really counts: on your family and home.

Green Savings #1: CFLs
Most people don’t realize the electricity to run a light bulb costs more than the bulb itself. Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for overall savings.
Savings potential: About $30 per bulb (based on CFL life of 10,000 hours)

Green Savings #2: Insulation
Spend a few hundred dollars to add insulation to your attic, walls and basement to keep cool air in during the summer and out during the winter.
Savings potential: 10 to 30 percent of your annual heating and cooling bill

Green Savings #3: Caulking and Weather Stripping
Seal up leaky windows or add low-E glazing and storm windows. Add weather stripping to doors and windows that don’t seal as tightly as they should.
Savings potential: $15 per window or door per year

Green Savings #4: Plumbing Fixtures
You’ll have to invest up front on new fixtures, but they’ll likely pay for themselves over the long run. Install a low-flow showerhead ($65 per year), water-efficient toilet ($25 per year), a more efficient water heater ($48 per year) and a whole house water filter ($312 per year).
Savings potential: Up to about $450 per year

Green Savings #5: Programmable Thermostat
If you come and go at predictable times, have a programmable thermostat added to conserve energy while you’re away and keep things comfortable when you’re home.
Savings potential: $180 per year

Green Savings #6: Home Energy Audit
Call a professional energy auditor to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency and recommend improvements.
Savings potential: Depending on your rating, it could be thousands of dollars

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