When was the last time someone showed up at your home to save you money… and gave you over a hundred dollars worth of free stuff? This happened to me recently… and I want to share the experience with you.
A few weeks ago I wrote abour our journey to solar power I like to think that I covered it in excruciating detail at that link.
As a condition of getting the state grants to subsidize our solar panels, our energy company has to review our home. At first it seems kind of strange, but when I thought it further it made more sense. The state shouldn’t subsidize solar panels for me unless I can show that I’m focused on effectively using energy in my home. After all, if I have a refrigerator from 1970, they should tell me to buy a new refrigerator, right?
Fortunately, the energy assessment is free*! That “*” means that it isn’t really free, but comes at no additional cost to me. Every month we pay a little money for these services… similar to paying E911 on your cell-phone bill. The difference is that you can get the benefits from the energy assessment right away… and without there being an emergency.
There were three major financial benefits to getting this energy assessment… and in no particular order…
1) The solar panels that I mentioned earlier… It looks like they’ll save us tens of thousands of dollars over time.
2) I had my house scoured in detail for anything that might help me save money on electricity bill. You’d think that you might pay third party $300 for this service. And if you did, it still would likely save you money. It wasn’t looked at from just an electricity point-of-view, but also from an heating efficiency one.
As far as this assessment went, our home aced everything in flying colors. I’d love to take credit, but the previous owner did most everything. The only thing I did was go crazy with LED and LCD light-bulbs.
3) Free stuff!!! Who loves free stuff? This guy! Here’s what we got:
* Two smart power strips that are very useful for entertainment centers. The explanation is a little long for this place, but it keeps your DVR plugged in and running while your TV isn’t using “vampire power.” You want your DVR plugged in to record your shows. You don’t care about your TV using energy until you are watching it, right?
* LED Light Bulbs – Here is the secret, sneaky tip… I had a lot of LED light bulbs in the house – I wrote about it recently: Digging into LED Light Bulb Savings. I also had some Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs). I found that in the areas that I didn’t those light-bulbs – such as a bathroom using G25 LEDs (something that I learned afterwards), they will replace them for you! It is almost worth buying in-efficient lightbulbs just to get all the best bulbs, right?
It’s strange. I’m trying to very conscious of our energy usage and we found a ton benefits.
And sometimes you can bring your tricks to the party. I showed the energy assessment expert my HDHomeRun Prime: End Cable Box Rental Fees!. I also mentioned how it is a crazy power hog. The cable companies won’t work to make it better so consumers have to cobble a situation to make it better… and that’s what I did.
Do you have any tricks to save money on energy? If so please let me know in the comments.
Kurt @ Money Counselor says
Home energy assessments are great, an under appreciated and easy way to slash home energy bills. We had on done before and after a bunch of energy improvement, most notably replacing all of our windows. We got big tax credits to help offset the cost as a result.
Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom says
Our bill has come way down recently, but I don’t think there’s anything I can tell you that you don’t already know! We got a whole house energy monitor for the cost of allowing them to shut off our air conditioner for a couple hours a day on very hot days (we rarely use a/c now anyway). Free stuff is fun!
The city of New York offers a number of incentives to keeping green. One of the best is that they give away free extensions to turn any air conditioner or heater into a smart air conditioner or heater. Why pay to heat the air when there’s nobody there?
I did one of these a month ago. They replaced 20 light bulbs with CFLs (mostly ones I don’t use as the rest had already been replaced). They did some other stuff but at the end of the day it worked rather well. I don’t know about the shower heads or the water diffuser (I forget what they are called) on my kitchen sink. At the end of the day, the guy said not much more can be done with out major expense.
[email protected] says
What is interesting about the energy vampires is that they use so little energy they really aren’t worth worrying about. I tested every appliance in my house and found that energy vampires were costing me about $20/ year.