Environmental Stewardship

Do the basic stuff

Find out how much energy your home is using compared to your neighbors from your local electricity provider.  To learn more about how to improve your efficiency, contact Mass Save for a no cost home energy audit.  You can also use the on-line Home Advisor to get started on your own. And since the biggest issue Pope Francis wants us to consider is our greenhouse gas emissions, you can also calculate your home’s carbon footprint as part of your family energy assessment to see where you can save energy and make the biggest impact on climate change.
  • There are lots of easy steps you can take to start saving energy at home. For example, swap out older incandescent light bulbs for energy-efficient LED light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs give off more heat energy than light energy. In fact, only around 5% of the energy given off by a standard 100 watt light bulb is light! Energy efficient LED light bulbs give off more light than heat, and last far longer. They start paying for themselves very quickly with direct energy savings.
  • Make home energy efficiency second nature. Check to make sure your insulation is properly installed. Seal windows and door frames against leaks and drafts. Turn off electronics when you are not using them. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Don’t use hot water if cold water can do the same task just as well.
  • Outdoor lights are very important for home security. It is easy to install motion sensors into existing outdoor light sockets and have the lights come on only when a person (or a raccoon!) moves nearby. You can also buy light fixtures that combine light sensors with motion sensors that come on dimly at sunset, brighten only when they sense movement nearby, and turn off early in the morning. Reducing outdoor lights at night also cuts back on “light pollution,” and makes it easier to see lightning bugs and stars.
  • When it is time to replace or buy a new appliance, buy energy star appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioning units. Appliances can use a VERY large amount of energy. You can find energy-saving appliances at retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowes. 
  • Since space heating and air conditioning make up around half of your home energy use, try living in the “68-78” range. In other words, keep the thermostat at 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer. To avoid thermostat battles in your home, install programmable thermostats that turn the heating and cooling off when you are not at home or at night. Most are easily self-installed, and save energy immediately.