After you know where your home is losing energy, use your findings to make a plan. Create a whole-house, systems-based plan that considers how any one change will affect the energy efficiency, comfort, durability, health, and safety of the whole house. Remember that changes in your energy usage habits are important, but a plan that considers how all features of your house work together can achieve the greatest savings.
Plan your habit changes
Consider the questions below and review the other sections of this guide for additional ideas.
Do you forget to turn off lights and electronics? Which items could be unplugged when not in use? See the Electronics section for more information.
- Are you using window coverings for maximum heating, cooling, and lighting bene t? See the Windows section for more information.
- Could you take advantage of time-of-day electricity rates and complete activities that use large amounts of energy—such as laundry and dishwashing—at night? See the section on Saving Electricity and Use Renewable Energy for more on these utility offerings.
- How can you adjust your heating and cooling to save energy?
See the Heating and Cooling section for more information.
Plan your projects
Make a timeline of projects to do now, in the near future, and over the long term. Start by sealing air leaks and move on to other weatherization projects; see the Weatherization section for information. Also ask yourself the following questions:
- Where are the greatest energy losses in your home?
- What projects would provide the greatest return on time and money investment?
- How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings? The Home Energy Saver tool provides estimates for return on investment, yearly savings, and payback times (hes.lbl.gov/consumer).
- How long do you plan to own your current home?
- What would help make your home most comfortable now? What projects should you plan for the future?
- What can you do yourself? What should you hire out? What is your budget?
Purchase materials and complete projects
Search for federal, state, local, and utility incentives such as tax credits and rebates on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (dsireusa.org). See the section on Financing, Incentives, and Assistance for more information.
Visit Energy Saver for guides and videos that show you how to complete DIY projects, including caulking, weatherstripping, installing storm windows, and improving your water heater efficiency.
See the Weatherization section for more steps to get started.