Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

August 2008

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22 ways to cut energy costs now

At this point in time it’s evident that energy costs are not going down anytime soon. In fact, as gasoline prices continue to remain high, it’s obvious that any energy-related lifestyle improvements we make today will produce big dividends in the months and years ahead. It seems as though every facet of our lives relates to energy use of some type, including the vehicles we drive, the mass transportation we take and, of course, the homes we build and live in.

Home energy resource guide

Homeowners who want to cut their energy bills have a lot of options — and a lot of important decisions to make. Fortunately, you can turn to a wide range of energy-related resources for assistance. The following organizations, companies and institutions can provide the information you need to make the right choices.

SH Bookshelf: Setting goals to save energy

Homeowners who are serious about reducing energy costs can turn to two books that provide real-world, hands-on advice and practical solutions. "The Homeowner’s Handbook to Energy Efficiency," by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi, starts by advocating the development of a plan for your home and explains how to analyze your energy consumption, calculate your energy costs, schedule a home energy audit and set goals.

Saving Energy with Lighting Controls

Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of an average home’s energy costs, so it’s a good place to start if you want to reduce your monthly utility bill.

A Practical Guide to Pellet Stoves

First things first: I really like my pellet stove. I wanted to get that out of the way, right off. During a harsh winter of record fuel prices in the Northeast, my new wood pellet stove helped keep our 2,000-square-foot house in Maine cozy for roughly half the cost of heating oil. It did the job by burning waste wood, harvested and processed in North America. And in terms of contributing to climate change, heating with wood pellets creates a very small carbon footprint.

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