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.

Meeting Homeowners Halfway on Energy Efficiency Needs

A study by the International Energy Agency surveyed homeowners on why they invested in energy efficiency upgrades, and the answers included saving money on their electric bills, cutting back on electricity use, and adding in more insulation to reduce outside noise. Some reasons were health-related, like cutting back on allergens in the home, and removing mold. Home weatherization projects and efficiency upgrades help to reduce dust mites, stabilize temperatures in the home which helps to eliminate mold, and remove particulates which can cause allergies or make asthma worse. With all of these benefits, why are more homeowners not investing in energy efficiency upgrades?

Photo courtesy of Sagewell INC

In many communities, people don’t know what energy efficiency is. Even if a resident is aware of the benefits efficiency upgrades can have, they often have a difficult time connecting with a local efficiency program. For those homeowners who are unaware of the benefits that energy efficiency could offer, they say that infrared images are a helpful visual, as well as having someone show them parts of their home that could use specific improvements. Homeowners also say that it is helpful for those advocating for energy efficiency to listen to their concerns in order to suggest the best energy-savers for their particular household.

 

Homeowners who participated in the survey say a barrier they face after they determine they want energy efficiency upgrades is a lack of support. They say that they need assistance with understanding the paperwork involved, help with applying for appropriate financing, and appointments with efficiency programs that fit in with their work schedules and daily lives. Lastly, owners wish those pushing upgrades would listen more to their specific questions and concerns.

International Energy Agency study can be found here: http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/Captur_the_MultiplBenef_ofEnergyEficiency.pdf

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