Energy Audit

2016 Year in Review of Conserving and Pro$pering

We’ve made great progress in our family lifestyle this year by conserving energy, food, and water to become more healthy, wealthy, and wise. This website blog exercised and demonstrated our sustainability mindfulness to:

·         Doing more with less – becoming more efficient!

·         Improving our diet, exercise, mediation, prayer, and balancing use of technology

·         Discovering benefits of acupuncture, massage, and confronting/reducing stressful situations

·         Learning to make our own meat jerky that is less expensive and delicious without preservatives

·         Growing and eating inexpensive, organic vegetables by volunteering at a community garden

·         Adding a HVAC electrostatic air filter to improve indoor air quality

·         Saving drinking water supplies with drip irrigation landscaping

·         Drinking mostly water or milk and no soda pop drinks

·         Attending conferences and workshops on water sustainability

·         Speaking to school groups about natural resources and conservation

·         Conducting a home energy audit that allowed patching of leaks and better air circulation

·         Driving a Toyota Rav4 hybrid as the only family car which saved about $650 in fuel costs, 6,000 pounds of carbon dioxide not emitted to the air, and much improved safety and power features

·         Reading many books on sustainability as reviewed in several blogs

·         Becoming more aware of risks and threats to our lifestyle such as overconsumption, population growth, food and water scarcity, ignorance and denial of scientific evidence, and needless wasting of precious resources in a “use it or lose it” mentality

Without sounding too self-righteous, we still have many more opportunities to improve our lifestyle in 2017, such as becoming more self-sufficient by adding solar panels to our home or maybe supporting newer technologies like community modular nuclear reactors; purchasing an electric vehicle; becoming less dependent on banks, credit cards, or investing only in the stock market by building a variety of diverse assets; collecting rainwater (legalized in Colorado this year); planting fruit trees and stocking up on long shelf-life food supplies. Please let me know if you have comments or suggestions!

Happy New Year!

Home Energy Audits Can Save Energy and Money

Although we bought a new home three years ago with several Energy Star features, the temperature of the upstairs room above the garage is not comfortable much of the year. So we began investigating the source of the problem.

Xcel Energy provides electricity and natural gas to our home. They offer up to $200 in rebates covering about two-thirds of the cost of having a home energy audit. They also provide an approved list of qualified auditors. We selected a local company that brought several tools to measure items like air flow, insulation, heating and ventilation. They installed a fan on the front door to look for air leaks - we found a large hole in the upstairs room going into the interior roof where a door jam was located. I easily patched the hole using spray foam. Using simulated smoke for air flow and an infrared camera showing thermal gradients, they found that while air flow does properly go from the kitchen and living room out to the garage, the roof is not well ventilated. We are looking into the insulation blocking air vents and adding a fan on the roof.

 

Revolutionizing a Low-Carbon Energy Economy Worldwide: the arguments of Climate Change and Changing Public Opinion

As the United Nations climate change summit begins in Paris, there are optimistic signs of new initiatives. President Obama announced that 20 countries will double their R&D budgets over the next 5 years for clean energy with Mission Innovation. These countries on five continents produce 75% of the world's carbon emissions. Government investments are being made along with private-sector capital such as the Bill Gates led group of billionaire investors creating the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

While many people remain skeptical that humans can cause global climates to change and if the billionaire investors and numerous governments who are calling for low-carbon energy sources is still not convincing -- consider some of the simple arguments that I have been making for decades. By the way, this controversial topic of global warming became the topic of great debate in my family:

* Burning coal and other fossil fuels causes air pollution smog which can emit radioactivity.

Look what's going on in China: Being outside for 1 hour can reduce your life expectancy by 20 minutes! And cold air inversions trapping pollution is common in many US cities like Denver!

* Scientist have known for 120 years that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide can cause warming and cooling of the atmosphere!

* Recall the concern and ultimate ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that caused huge holes in the ozone? I've seen Australian children required to wear sun hats due to increased cancer risk.

* What will happen if we do not take action? Are we seeing an irreversible global meltdown? I am amazed that many business channels  like Bloomberg are now advocating the science of climate change!

* Scientist like to discuss the uncertainty - will the earth warm 2,4, 6, or 8 degrees as various modeling scenarios are used to predict? However, the financial markets and politicians want absolute certainty before taking action. I've felt for a long time that by the time scientists can prove global warming it might be too late - consider that Plate Tectonics is still considered a theory

So what are some of the things that we can all do to help  reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while saving money?  According to EPA there are many things we can do including replacing light fixtures, insulating your home, buying Energy Star appliances, and using water efficiently.

Check your energy provider to see if they offer home energy audits. Xcel Energy provides up to $200 in rebates for having energy audits conducted. Two 250 megawatt power plants have NOT been built in Colorado as a result of energy conservation!

Contact us at Conserve & Pro$per to take action!

 

Do you want to save money on electricity bills?

There are many ways to save money on electricity bills. The simplest and most important thing we can do is replace the central air filters often. Check out USA Today with information from Consumer's Reports. Are you using Energy Star appliances and LED lighting? 

In our area of the Redlands, Colorado, people like to see the night sky and many people make an effort to turn off lights at night. Not only can we see the stars, we are also saving money and helping to reduce pollution from electric generation!  

An energy audit to find where hot or cold air is being lost is available to homes and businesses, so give us a call to find out how you can save money at Conserve & Pro$per LLC (970-260-8915).