These days, you might think twice about walking past a penny lying on the sidewalk. While a penny, or even several pennies for that matter, isn't going to pay the bills, it's more the act of picking up a penny that offers greater significance. A conscious affirmation, if you will, picking up a penny during hard times is a good reminder of just how much we've devalued money in the past, not to mention how often we throw money away.
As America's consciousness for sustainability and clean energy has drastically risen in just a few short years, it has become very clear just how much money we are actually throwing away just by simply living in our homes - our energy inefficient homes that is. And we're not talking pennies either. The best energy efficient homes can save thousands of dollars per year.
Sure, there are some "start up" costs involved. However, contrary to popular belief, or should I say outdated belief, the return of investment for a maximized energy efficient home will produce large savings in the first few years. And if you're looking for tax incentives, now is the best time ever to go green. With legislation in the works that gives tax breaks to home owners who install solar panels and foster energy efficiency in the home, financial savings are definitely guaranteed in the first year.
Even if you can hardly afford a dime during these current times, there are simple, cost effective steps you can take to get the snowball of energy efficiency going and save on utility bills. For example, even if you can change out three light bulbs for the energy saving kind, use less indoor heating/cooling, hand wash dishes a couple times a week and hang your clothes on a line to dry, you will assuredly save on utility bills in the first month. Pocket that money away and use it to purchase an energy efficient appliance later down the road. You might even have enough to purchase solar panels and install them yourself!
In short, there are a myriad of ways to foster energy efficiency in the home. This is what makes home efficiency consulting sites like Home Efficiency Report a highly valuable resource. This website in particular offers a vast, free resource for home and business owners looking for ways to save money on utility bills and ultimately do a service for the planet. Specifically focusing on "remodeling" techniques, rather than building homes from scratch, GreenAndSave is one of the first sites to offer Return of Investment calculations for home owners.
There are plenty of home energy efficiency tips and a search tool that will let you find an energy auditor or green remodeling specialists in your neck of the woods. And if you're looking to make some simple and cost-effective, hands-on changes to your home, like I mentioned before, take some time to visit AM Conservation Group. They sell a great selection of weatherization kits and supplies for energy and water conservation.