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How To Be More Energy Efficient

Aug 17, 2007
We hear so much about energy efficiency nowadays. Energy efficiency is about saving our environment and saving our money. How we got about practicing energy efficiency isnt always as clear, though. Here, there, are the most frequently asked questions about energy efficiency, and their answers.

The question most often asked is if buying products such as appliances that are specifically designed for energy efficiency cost more than others? The answer is yes and no.

While their initial purchase price is usually higher their energy efficiency reduces the bill to use them, which, over time, generally saves money. Energy efficient products often perform better than their less efficient competition, which means they may also last longer.

Another popular question is where to find products that are designed for energy efficiency and how to recognize them. Recognition is easy. In the U.S. especially those appliances and other products that have been assessed by government professionals and determined to be energy efficient earn what is called an Energy Star, and that Energy Star is displayed on their packaging and on the product itself.

To find products that have proven themselves worthy of the energy-efficiency Energy Star is not difficult at all. In fact most retailers will carry them and most major manufacturers design them. You can also call a hotline that is toll free to find where they can be purchased near you or visit the U.S. governments Energy Star Web site.

Many people ask about energy-efficiency products ability to keep their home comfortable. In other words, will an energy-efficient air conditioner keep them as cool as those not rated for energy efficiency, and will the Energy Star branded heating system actually keep them warm?

The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, in many cases, they improve the comfort level for you and your family by maintaining a constant temperature.

People often ask if, since energy-efficiency helps others, if there is assistance with the extra up-front expense of installing energy efficient appliances and products. The answer is that yes, there certainly is.

Private financial firms offer loans for Energy Star products that have favorable interest rates and longer terms than those for standard cooling and heating equipment. Again, the Energy Star hotline or site will help find these loan providers. You may find as well that your local utility company just might offer you a rebate when you decide to purchase equipment that offers energy efficiency.

Another common question about energy efficiency is about finding the right contractor to install the equipment. There are several things you can do, which hold true for any contractor you seek.

The first is to ask for references and recommendations of those you trust - friends, family, business acquaintances, and coworkers. Search the business directory of your local newspaper or you local Yellow Pages carrier. Eliminate those that arent licensed, bonded and insured.

Once youve narrowed down your search to a few choices ask for, and check, references. Check with your Better Business Bureau or the consumer protection agency for your state or county to make sure consumers have not lodged complaints against any of the contractors on your short list. As you inquire of each, ask about their experience and expertise in energy efficiency, and then compare price, service, reputation and warranty.
About the Author
James Copper works for www.newcareerskills.co.uk who offer energy training.
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