Insulation Still on Top: Looking Ahead in Energy Savings

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Today’s media is a constant stream of suggestions for energy efficient home upgrades. Half myth and half fact, it may often be hard to tell which tips and renovations you should choose to implement. Luckily, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently researched the newest plans for saving, in order to find you the most effective methods.

Many states, including Massachusetts, keep raising their standards in energy efficiency programs. The ACEEE recently released a plan titled The Frontiers of Energy Efficiency: Next Generation Programs Reach for High Energy Savings to tell us what we can expect to see in energy efficient developments over the next fifteen years. These new initiatives can save up to 27% of your electricity use and 19% of natural gas use over this period of time.

Although energy efficiency programs have been in place in the United States for over three decades, our nation is still rapidly moving forward in this field. As energy efficiency gains more publicity, the policies in place have higher standards and more specific requirements. The ACEEE’s new plan hopes to achieve and sustain even higher energy savings levels over the next two decades.

The report looks to install new energy-conserving methods in your home, while pointing out the most important already-existing techniques. Some new technologies that will make their way into your homes include:

  • LED lighting throughout your home
  • High-efficiency clothes washers and dryers
  • Advanced power strips
  • Home energy displays and smart meters to track your consumption

Regarding methods that already exist, the recent release elects building shell maintenance as the most important. This means that insulating and sealing your home is currently the most effective way to conserve energy. Once you seal off your building shell, you create an enclosed area to fill with the new energy saving technologies.

One of the new technologies that the ACEEE feels will drastically change energy efficiency is the installation of smart meters and home energy displays. These devices do not specifically save energy, but rather aim to alter your behavior toward energy conservation. You can track your energy consumption, which the ACEEE believes will constantly motivate you to save more energy. When you have a meter telling you how much you use and what you save, you can easily set energy-saving goals for your household and track your progress.

According to the ACEEE, the first step to saving on any bill in your home is to seal off the interior from the surrounding environment. Insulating and air sealing your home ensures that your steps towards energy conservation work effectively by first keeping your home’s energy inside your own walls. Once you take the most important first step, you can look towards further saving energy in your home by installing some of the newly developed technologies.

Each method that the ACEEE’s recent report mentions is a reliable way to save energy in your home. The most important part to achieve this goal is being conscious of your actions and taking the first step towards energy efficiency: insulate and seal your home.