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Posts Tagged: energy efficiency

Why Are There Utility Rebates for Energy Conservation?

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Our government and utilities generously fund rebates to incent our energy efficient upgrades. This is because our state has set efficiency and conservation requirements for our utilities to hit. “The total amount of savings regulated utilities expected to save in 2017 was roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity it would take to power over 38,000 homes, and the amount of natural gas it would take to supply approximately 7,000 homes,” (Source WA Utilities and Transportation Committee; 2018 goals not posted). In fact, Washington State is a leader in energy efficiency, and has consistently ranked in the top ten on the national American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard since 2007.

Homeowners get to benefit as the utilities pass along a portion of the energy savings to us in the form of rebates. The primary utilities in Western Washington are Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, and Snohomish PUD, but all of our local power companies have some rebates.

For more information or to schedule your rebate qualified upgrade, contact Washington Energy Services.

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Seven common home energy wasters

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According to a Demand Institute study, 71 percent of U.S. homeowners say energy efficiency is very important to them but only 35 percent felt their homes were energy efficient. The study revealed that energy efficiency was the No. 1 unmet housing concern.

The median age of a home in the U.S. is 35 years, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s American Housing Survey. In the last four decades, substantial improvements in energy-saving technology and home design have been made, so owners of older homes can potentially save huge amounts of money with even the easiest upgrades to their homes.

Seattle energy efficiency experts can identify a variety of energy inefficiencies in your home and recommend steps to mitigate these issues. Some of the most common energy efficiency issues in American homes include:

  • Improperly sealed homes – Small cracks in doors and windows can let hot air in during the summer and cold air in during the winter, driving up energy bills. These cracks can be tough for even experienced home DIYers to detect. Energy audit specialists can find them and suggest remedies for the problem.
  • Windows – Older windows allow greater heat loss in the winter months, driving up energy bills. An energy audit can evaluate your windows and determine whether you’d be well-served by installing newer windows with greater UV protection and other benefits.
  • Older HVAC units – Much like home appliances, HVAC units have improved considerably in recent decades. Heating and cooling is a major contributor to your home energy bill, so reducing those costs with an upgrade to a newer model HVAC unit such as a heat pump can drastically reduce power bills.
  • Insulation – Insufficient or older insulation can be causing your energy bills to be higher than necessary. Home energy auditors can determine your home’s insulation needs.
  • “Dumb” thermostats – Older thermostats aren’t as programmable and adaptable as newer models. An energy audit can help you find the thermostat that works best for your home and your lifestyle. New models can be controlled from your smartphone.
  • Lighting – Older lighting fixtures and lamps can waste significant amounts of money. Newer lamps such as compact fluorescent lamps often use up to 75 percent less energy than older incandescent light bulbs.
  • Appliances – Older appliances are often much less energy efficient than modern appliances. An energy audit can tell you how much energy you’re losing by hanging on to your old fridge and how much a new EnergyStar appliance can save you.

Washington Energy Services is a family-owned business providing home energy efficiency solutions to Seattle area clients.  Founded in 1957, Washington Energy Services has generations of experience in providing heating and cooling and other energy-related services, including sales, installation, and service. A member of the Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network, Washington Energy Services has an excellent local business reputation.

Contact us today to address your home’s energy efficiency short comings.

Schedule a home energy audit

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