In the December 4th issue of Newsday, a cover story headlined 'Pay Up to Heat Up' discussed the predictions for a harsh winter and the effects it will have on homeowners and their utility bills. In reading this piece we noticed that while there were a lot of predictions and prognostications about the winter forecast and fuel costs, there was little discussion of how homeowners can take control of their heating costs through increased energy efficiency. As we believe that improving the energy efficiency of your home is the best path to reducing utility costs, Jay Best submitted a letter to the editors of Newsday in response to this article. While we do not know if the letter will be published and if it is, it is highly likely they will edit the piece for their purposes, we wanted to share the letter in its entirety.
To the editors,
With regards to the December 4th cover story titled ‘Pay Up to Heat Up’, the columnist left out some vital information that will help homeowners on Long Island and across New York State to cope with colder temperatures and rising fuel costs.
While there is little that the consumer can do to affect the costs of fossil fuels, they can improve the overall energy efficiency of their home. By improving the household energy efficiency, homeowners can reduce their utility costs from 20-50% based on the current energy efficiency level of their home. For homes that were built prior to the mid-80’s, the construction techniques that were used were more about building a sturdy home but with little thought of energy efficiency. These homes will benefit the most from improved energy efficiency.
Through NYSERDA (and starting January 1st, 2017, through PSEG for Long Island homeowners), every New York State homeowner is eligible for a free home energy assessment. These assessments, performed by companies like Green Audit USA, take 2-3 hours to perform. At the end of the process the homeowner is provided with a detailed report on the energy efficiency level of their home, a list of improvements that will improve household energy efficiency and an estimate of the possible savings that may be realized if the recommended improvements are performed.
For most homes, energy efficient upgrades can be completed in a single day and there are multiple financing options that make the work very affordable. Homeowners who have this work done discover that their homes are warmer in the winter while using less fuel or electricity than was previously needed. Along with helping to bring down costs, by reducing the amount of fossil fuels expended to heat their homes, homeowners are also contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and creating a safer and healthier home environment for their families.
Homeowners who wish to learn more are encouraged to visit www.longislandgreenhomes.com, https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Residents-and-Homeowners, or contact PSEG to find out about the programs coming on line in January 2017.
Owner and Founder, Green Audit USA