WHAT IS NC SAVE$ ENERGY?

NC SAVE$ ENERGY is an initiative by a growing number of organizations to create a statewide, independent (non-utility) energy efficiency program. It will keep savings on energy bills in the hands of residential customers, while serving those who can least afford rising energy costs.                                                         NC SAVE$ ENERGY would create a publicly-managed, independent fund to pay for energy efficiency projects for homes, local government buildings, hospitals, and schools. This program will create good North Carolina jobs, save people money, protect the environment, and ensure healthy, safe homes and buildings across the state.                                                                                        NC SAVE$ ENERGY is based on the experiences of six other states’ cost-effective independent energy efficiency programs.

Energy Efficiency: An Affordable Way to Reduce your Energy Bills, and Make the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Irrelevant!

Multi-billion dollar utilities Dominion and Duke Energy want to build a natural gas pipeline through some of the poorest counties in Eastern, NC, claiming that energy demand is increasing. The truth is that the demand for energy in our state has been pretty flat for years, despite a growing population, because homes, business and industry are implementing more efficiency measures.  In fact, if we had implemented a statewide NC SAVE$ ENERGY independently administered efficiency program as we had tried to in 2007, energy demand would have actually declined. Energy efficiency not only makes it possible to avoid building new natural gas power plants and infrastructure like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it also makes energy costs for low income households more affordable.

After your rent or mortgage payment; your second highest household cost is usually the energy bill. Energy efficiency measures for homes include: adding more insulation to the walls and ceiling, installing energy efficient windows and doors, and adjusting the temperature indoors a few degrees when you’re not home. In older homes, energy efficiency upgrades can save at least hundreds of dollars a year, and pay for themselves in just a few years.

Homeowner Samella Degraffen Reid had a lot to say about new energy efficiency measures added to her home, which not only saved her money on her electric bill, but also made her home more consistently comfortable. “This upgrade has really made a tremendous amount of difference. You don’t have to walk through rooms where it’s cold there or hot there, because that’s what I used to have to do. But now it’s quite comfortable,” Reid stated in an interview by The Columbus Dispatch. In Reid’s home, the program fixed air leaks, heating and cooling stability, added more insulation, and made her home more resilient to extreme weather related events. Installing a new efficient heat pump, for which homeowners can get loans, can start making a difference after other measures are in place.

Other creative ways to save on your energy bill include switching to motion sensor lights instead of steady outdoor or indoor lighting, and “smart bulbs” that allow adjustment of light levels. Many small appliances have “ghost loads” that continue to draw current even in the 90+% of the time the appliance isn’t used. Unplug them or plug them into a power strip that easily turn off several appliances when not in use.

For those of us working for “energy and climate justice”, and to avoid unnecessary and costly new power plants and infrastructure like the huge new Atlantic Coast Pipeline—or just to save on your utility bill– there’s no more cost- effective home investment you can make!

This blog post incorporates information from articles in The Dispatch, and Benzinga.

 

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