A couple years ago I submitted a letter describing how our 60-year-old home benefited from the NYSERDA program that provides a free energy audit and subsidized weatherization. In the first year after we weatherized our home, our heating fuel usage dropped by 20 percent, even though the weather was about 15 percent colder.
Since that time, we have continued to improve the ways we use energy at home.
After we put a wood stove in the basement of our sealed and insulated home, our propane usage dropped to 23 gallons/month on average, down from 80 gallons/month when we moved in. While we do have expenses and labor for firewood, we feel much better about purchasing firewood from a local landscaper than we feel about buying and burning a nonrenewable resource. And the exercise schlepping firewood helps keep my gym expenses low!
After we installed solar panels, 100% of our electricity has been cleanly powered by the sun, and our monthly electric expense dropped from $75 to $20. Just like our expenditures on weatherization, the cost of the solar panels is quickly getting repaid by savings on utility bills.
In the course of cost-effectively making our home more energy efficient, we have steadily relied on advice, encouragement and inspiration from members of Sustainable Warwick, a wonderful volunteer organization. If you are concerned about the sustainability of our planet, please do something meaningful this year in your own home to help the environment. Regardless of what may be happening in Washington, D.C., there are many things we can do to be part of a long-term solution. Should you need assistance, reach out to SW at www.sustainablewarwick.org.
Best wishes for good energy throughout 2017!