President Obama recently released his proposed budget for 2014, which includes increased funding for energy efficiency. This is good news for all of you energy conservers—President Obama proposed a growth in the current budget supporting energy-saving technologies. So what does this mean for homeowners?
President Obama wishes to pass a budget that funds energy efficiency in areas such as transportation technologies, building technologies, weatherization programs, and manufacturing. The increase is particularly large this year to reflect the Administration’s rising care for energy conservation. While there is an ongoing disagreement about the role of government spending, both parties conclude that it is important to fund conservation in order to save Americans money.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released new strategies in response to Obama’s budget that plan out how to most effectively use the increase in funding. The ACEEE decided on 16 policies that could save consumers and businesses $1 trillion from 2014-2030. This is a huge amount that simple energy-saving tasks could save us. Although the plans require money to get started, the ACEEE estimates a short payback period, followed by huge savings.
One plan that the ACEEE proposed includes labeling buildings—both commercial and residential—based on their level of energy efficiency. This way, all buyers will be able to find and purchase the most energy-efficient buildings. This plan could save at least $60 billion by making simple adjustments in the information that the buyers and residents have access to.
Another part of the plan points out that investing in efficient technologies that we already have could reduce the nation’s energy bill by 20 percent. This is where you, the homeowner, come into play. If we already have access to technologies that could save the country 20 percent more every year, then why aren’t we already investing in these? The good news is: you do not need the government’s budget to start your own home savings.
Two areas where you can increase efficiency are:
- fuel efficiency in your choice of cars
- many measures you can take at home
In your home, consider your annual energy bill. Do you want to easily reduce that number by 20 percent? All you need to do is be aware of every place you can save.
To conserve energy in your building shell, seal it off from the outside weather. Insulating and air sealing are the most important steps to save the most energy in your home. By sealing off unwanted airflow and keeping heat in your home in the winter and outside in the summer, you can move on to thinking about your internal energy usage. Within your sealed building shell, look for Energy Star-labeled appliances to further continue your everyday savings. There are many other effective methods for conservation, all you need to do is learn about them.
The most important step for reducing our country’s energy consumption starts with you. When you know about your options for conservation, all you need to do is take the first step. Our country knows that in order to save energy, we must first spend money. In a short time, this budget plan will end up saving our country money in response to the money we invest.