Energy that you don’t use is almost always the cheapest, plus saving energy can help make buildings more comfortable.

Some easy things to consider:

  • First, check out our page on Energy Assessments. A First Step Energy Assessment can be free, and will replace all incandescent bulbs with new new LEDs, as well as install low-flow aerators, which can reduce water bills.
  • If you want to start things yourself and you haven’t already replaced incandescent and T12 fluorescent lights with LED bulbs, it’s time to do that. Even replacing working bulbs (as opposed to waiting for them to burn out) can save money quickly.
  • If you have drafts in the house, for example, around windows or plug covers, some insulation can make a big difference in comfort.
  • When you buy a new appliance, look for the Energy Star logo. Energy Star appliances are screened for efficiency.
  • When you need to replace an old air conditioner, consider a highly efficient air-source heat pump, which can make an astonishing reduction in your bill. An HVAC professional can help clarify the options, costs, and benefits of various models.
  • Is it time to replace a vehicle? Consider buying a high-mpg hybrid or an electric car, which can save fuel and maintenance costs. Hybrids look, drive, an fuel-up just like a “regular” car, but can use much less gas. For example, the Honda Accord Hybrid is rated at 48 mpg.

Whatever you do, be sure to check for possible tax credits and utility rebates:

For those who qualify, the Northeast Iowa Community Action Weatherization program provides free residential weatherization work.  Community members receiving assistance through NEICAC’s LIHEAP program are automatically enrolled in the Weatherization program.  Additional assistance may be available from the Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund.