10 Steps to a More Energy Efficient Home

Cooling and Heating is the Primary Energy Hog in a Home

Heating and cooling costs account for about 50-70% of the energy used in the average Texas home, the Energy Efficient Saver program from Electricity Bid and Pierce Energy is the easiest, most effective way to:

  1. Save money (up to 30% or more) on your Texas electric bill
  2. Improve the general well being and comfort level of your Texas home
  3. Raise the value of your house, and
  4. Gives you the opportunity to reduce the demand load in your city which can lower the rate for everyone.

Designed in accordance with U.S. Department of Energy recommendations, the Energy Efficient Saver program combines 10 proven energy saving solutions into a single program that can pay for itself through Texas power savings of up to 30% and sometimes more in annual heating and cooling costs. With the help of the federal and state government many of the costs in this program are paid for by the government.

10 Steps Performed with the Energy Efficiency Saver Program

  • Apples to Apples Electric Rate Comparison at Electricity Bid.com
  • Blower Door Setup and Calculations Performed on Air Leakage From Home
  • Assessment of Insulation Damage in Attic and Walls
  • Mastic Paint Used to Seal Leaks Coming From Air Conditioning Ducts Located in Attic.
  • Doors and Windows Retrofitted with Devices to Stop Air and Energy Leaks
  • Blow in Insulation and Radiant Barrier Installed in Attic
  • See Through Energy Efficient Storm Windows Installed on Existing Windows.
  • Feasibility Study for the Installation of Solar Panels
  • Power Saver Device Installed at Meter to reduce the loss of Electricity Through Energy Surges
  • Advice on How to Maintain Continued Energy Efficiency Best Practices for Your Home

If you would like to receive solar technology and renewable energy updates in Texas then we would like to recommend ESS Solar. This is a local solar panel and renewable energy company in Texas that works with several solar panel companies and solutions. They keep us updated with solar technology as it changes and would be happy to keep you updated as well. They of course hope you will eventually become a customer but they also work very well as an information resource by giving the occasional update on solar as changes take place in the market place.

ESS Solar Offers Easy Solar Panel Install Service in Texas

Your Home’s Energy Use

How We Use Energy in Our Homes

Heating and Air Conditioning Typically Accounts for the biggest portion of electricity consumption for a homes utility bill.

To begin you want to locate the areas in the house that use the most electricity. Pie chart shows energy use in a typical home: 34% space heating, 34% appliances and lighting, 13% water heating, 11% electric A/C, 8% refrigerator.This type of approach is known as the wholehouse energy efficiency approach. You can bring in a home energy audit specialist who can determine where the energy is escaping from holes and cracks in the homes ducts and exterior entrance and exit ways. Cracks and openings in windows and door seals are a few easy locations to look at. Single pane windows and attics and walls not properly insulated or updated with Radiant Barrier can also cause substantial energy loss. Many regional utilities in Texas such as Oncor Delivery and Centerpoint Energy provide free home energy efficiency programs to assist in making your home a more efficient and bring needed money savings to the bottom line for your families needs. Everybody could use a little extra money and these tips could give you more then just a little extra. Of course, many of these suggestions you could perform yourself but some of them require a utility or energy expert to take a look at. You can learn more about energy tools and audit’s that can help you in your search for energy savings by checking out the Electricity Guide or the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) member page.

Tips On Auditing Home Energy

  • See if the attic insulation is at the proper level, as well as exterior and basement walls, floors, ceilings, and crawl spaces. Go to the Electricity Guide to learn how to properly check your insulation levels.
  • Locate holes and cracks around ceilings, walls, doors, windows, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can cause are to come in and out of a home.
  • Close any open fireplace dampers.
  • Receive yearly air conditioning maintenance and take advantage of HVAC promotional maintenance programs in your area as they come available. You can find the recommended maintenance time frame in the owner’s manual of the air conditioner you bought.
  • Install energystar lighting and switches and monitor how your family uses lighting especially in high traffic areas. You can use lighting controls like dimmers, occupancy sensors, and timers to help reduce lighting usage levels. Replace outdated lightbulbs with compact or standard fluorescent lamps.

Creating a Reliable Plan

At this point you have located everywhere energy is being lost in the house. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much do you spend on electricity?
  • Where do you loose the most energy?
  • How long will your energy efficiency investment take to recoup?
  • Are there any additional perks for you that will come from the energy standards you put into place (a more comfortable living space could be one possible example)?
  • How long do you plan to live in your current house you will be updating?
  • Are you able to do these energy saving ideas without needing to hire additional help?
  • How much money can you spend and have you checked what type of maintenance and repairs might be needed?

After you have put your plans in the proper order and know where your top priorities are you can start the energy efficiency project. Hopefully your plan will create an order so that you can buy affordable products that will pay off the most to make your home more efficient for the money. A few phone calls to some experts in town like, Home Depot or Lowes could answer some difficult questions in a few minutes. MaCenterpoint Energy and Oncor Electric Delivery both conduct free energy audits because by helping you they are able to reduce energy demand and not build as many power plants as they would need to otherwise. An energy expert can compare a homes energy bill to the energy system’s in place to see how much each costs a year to run the home. This however is quite easy by just reading the energy label on each appliance and doing a couple simple calculations. You can also hire an energy expert who specializes in performing various energy tests using blower doors, infrared cameras, and surface thermometers to find leaks and drafts. There are many different theories and devices recommended on how to properly test a house and you can research this by googling terms like “blower door”. The energy expert can give you a list of affordable solutions to make the home more energy efficient although most of the things they will recommend are common sense like, cracks around windows being filled, door seals, duct leaks, and updating or maintaining A/C Units. The expert will also calculate the return on investment when compared to older systems being used.

Photo of a ranch style house in winter.
Thermal photograph of ranch style house shows heat escaping through windows, doors, and front porch.

Heat Finding Its Way Out Of Your House
When you heat your house you want to make sure it all stays inside because most spend a majority of their energy dollars on heating their home. This image shows what happens and where it happens in this type of scenario. The  colors show white, yellow, and red which is in order of the least amount of heat loss to the greatest in thermal energy. The red color represents the most in heat loss from the house.

Tips to Find the Best Contractor For The Job

  • Word of mouth is best from family and friends
  • People pay a lot to be in the yellow pages so check it out
  • Find a local company as they are cheap and just as good as going out of town to find someone.
  • Find a licensed and bonded contractor.
  • When receiving bids be sure to get the details in writing and have atleast 3 company bids.
  • Get referrals and ask about experience
  • Call the companies references
  • See if they have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau

Electricity Bid helps you find an electric rate and provider to save you money and keep life simple.

Get in touch with us!