Our energy costs are the predominant way that our homes impact our personal, national and global carbon footprint. It often feels like there is little we can do, short of building a new home, to offset those carbon expenditures.

In fact, there are some very simple opportunities to reduce our home's energy use. A personal energy audit is a great way to get started. There are several great options for homeowners to use to help us learn just how well our homes are performing.

Duke Energy customers, can use Duke Energy's Home Energy Analysis to track energy use and learn ways to save energy in our homes.

Greenbuilt Alliance offers one of their signature programs Greengauge to evaluate a variety of home systems and provide a scientifically-based analysist Home Energy Score for existing homes.

For homeowners who are interested in learning how to raise the performance of their homes so that they are more efficient, environmentally friendly, cost effective and comfortable, I include the following resource links:

Here are some easy steps to take to make  improvements in our homes

  • Replace your old lightbulbs with LED bulbs.  These high efficiency lightbulbs are one of the most cost effective methods of reducing your energy consumption.
  • Contact Energy Savers Network to see if you qualify for their energy efficiency and weatherization services.  This organization connects volunteers with limted income houses throughout WNC to reduce your homes energy use.
  • Join Arcadia Power.  Connecting your power bill to the Arcadia Power network directs your energy usage to invest in wind energy.  Free for a 50% allocation or  1.5 Cents per kWh for 100% wind energy.
  • See what incentives might be available to help you in your efforts to add insulation, alternative energy and renewable energy systems at the Database of State Incentives.
    • Install solar power on your home. Asheville is blessed with a variety of solar companies that install solar electric systems (PV) and solar thermal systems (hotwater and home heating). Our  home system was installed by Sundance Power Systems, one of the pioneers in the area. Other companies that have 5 star ratings and great reputations in this area are Solfarm, Asheville Solar Company, Innovative Solar Systems and Sugar Hollow Solar.
    • Consider upgrading to a GeoThermal HVAC system.  Geothermal systems combine the ambient temperature deep within the earth to supplement your home's heating and cooling performance.