There’s always a lot of talk of how expensive it is to go green. Critics claim that organic produce adds hundreds to your grocery bill, and making substantial energy-saving upgrades to your home can actually cost thousands upfront. GoGirl Finance Expert Galia Gichon dispels the myths and shows you ways to go green and save money.
- Some green upgrades you do in your home can qualify for tax credits which saves on taxes. Your state or utility company might also offer a rebate on services, such as insulation, which saves a lot on your heating bill (30% up to $1,500) To see how much energy and money you’d save, visit http://energystar.gov/taxcredits and http://dsireusa.org/
- Use a programmable thermostat; a basic model goes for less than $100. You can save roughly $180 a year on energy.
- Get an annual check-up on your HVAC. A service visit typically costs under $100; it will run more if any work needs to be done. To find a contractor, contact your state energy office or local utility company.
- Replace filters for your systems (air, heating, etc.) at least every 90 days.
- Seal and insulate. Doing so can save you as much as 20% annually on heating and cooling costs, according to the Alliance to Save Energy.
- Get a separate water meter for your exterior hose bibs and/or irrigation system. In most locales, your sewer bill is tied to your water usage. Why pay more for sewer service in the summer when much of the water isn’t going down the drain? Many water utilities allow you to have dual meters, only one of which gets billed for sewer service (the one that feeds your house). Of course, you could also xeriscape, which obviates the need for irrigation and is far more environmentally friendly.
- Insulate your attic access. This will lower your heating and cooling bill, and save energy (costs). If you’re a DIYer here is a step by step instruction manual.