Your house, my apartment, his condo, her house, and all our combined residences account for 20% of the country’s energy use — and consequently, 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Cutting that percentage is easy — and if you live in Maryland, it won’t cost you anything out of pocket — because you’ve already paid for it. Included in your monthly utility bill is an “EmPower MD Charge,” which typically runs between $2-$3. This is funding an effort to reduce emissions statewide 15% by 2015, in part, by giving every Marylander living in a multi-family or single family property a “Quick Home Energy Check-up” .
This Quick Home Energy Check-up (QHEC) is done by a certified analyst who will spend about an hour visually inspecting your home, and who will most likely install efficiency upgrades, such as CFL light bulbs, efficient-flow showerheads, water heater tank wraps, pipe insulation, and more.
“The service and the products require no extra cost,” said Julie Keylon, a marketing manager at greeNEWit, a local energy auditing company. “Residents who take part in this program save on average $162 annually on electricity, water, and gas.”
Marylanders who want a more comprehensive energy assessment can schedule an Energy Audit, which takes two to four hours and has a fee. During this audit, an analyst will go up in the attic, down in the crawl spaces, and search for air leaks using infrared cameras and blower door testing. You’ll get a full report on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your energy bills. The analyst will also describe rebates and tax credits available if you complete the recommended improvements.
Contact your utility company for more information: Pepco, BG&E and Potomac Edison.
Solar Mowing is a Certified Green Business based in Bethesda. Solar Mowing uses emission-free equipment to provide lawn-cutting and trimming services. Learn more at solarmowing.com.
By Lyn Dewitt of Solar Mowing