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June 2023 EnergyWise Tip: Energy Efficiency

June 15, 2023

June 2023 EnergyWiseSM Tip: Energy Efficiency

By: Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer

What is the difference between energy conservation and energy efficiency? Since the early 1970s, the term “energy conservation” has been characterized by a “save it” mentality after sudden energy price and supply issues impacted the world. People found ways to use less energy by adjusting behaviors and habits. In doing so, they saved money.

But by 2010, the term “energy efficiency” was becoming popular as it implied using technology that required less energy to perform the same function without the personal sacrifice common with conservation measures.

Today, there are many reasons why homeowners should consider energy efficiency, from environmental and financial benefits to potential improvements in mental and physical health. In fact, energy efficiency has become one of the biggest opportunities for prospective and current homeowners. Here are some additional reasons why:

Reduce utility bills

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that you can save anywhere from 5% to 30% on your utility bills with energy efficient options and home upgrades. Energy efficient appliances consume less energy throughout their service lives without sacrificing quality and are an excellent way to lower energy expenditures.

Return on investment

Energy efficient purchases are an investment with savings that add up over the service life of the product. These savings can offset the initial price premium on energy efficient appliances and offer a significant return when compared to conventional, non-efficient alternatives. Furthermore, that savings increases over time as energy prices tend to rise.

Protect the environment

Implementing energy efficiency is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Homes were responsible for 19% of national greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Implementing home energy efficiency measures can significantly reduce a home’s emissions contribution. According to the DOE, the typical household can reduce its energy use (and by extension its greenhouse gas emissions) by 25% to 30% percent by investing in energy efficiency opportunities.

Increase property value

In the housing market, energy efficient homes usually sell for a higher price than standard homes with comparable features. Every project that increases a home’s energy efficiency adds a portion of its cost to the final selling price. Potential home buyers recognize that energy-efficient homes have reduced utility bills and fewer repair bills, too.

Enhance quality of life

Implementing energy efficient measures creates a home that will be warmer, drier and properly ventilated. This lowers the risk of illness and mold growth. Energy efficiency also prevents the buildup of indoor pollutants, a major concern in areas with high radon emissions.

Regardless of the reasons, your local utility, in partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, can help customers meet their energy efficiency goals. They may also provide EnergyWiseSM energy efficiency incentives to reduce the cost of improvements. Contact them or visit www.energywisenebraska.com for more information.

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