Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Green is Your Home?

You know it's coming... the first electric bill of the season. For all of us "greenies" the feeling of seeing that huge electric bill is the same. Not only do we have to part with too much money, we have proof that despite our good intentions we are contributing to the environmental problem.

According to the Montgomery County Maryland Department of Environmental Protection, an average of 60% of the electricity used in a Montgomery County home is generated from fossil fuels. It is not enough to turn off and unplug appliances and switch to energy saving light bulbs. You know there's more you could be doing and now is the time to step up and get an Energy Audit.

An Energy Auditor will inspect your home - the heating and cooling systems, the water heating system, and use his specialized tools to perfom an air infiltration, duct leakage, and combustion safety testing. He will provide you with a written report, a list of recommended improvements and, if needed, estimates for repairs. The cost for an Energy Audit is around $350 and they take approximately 3-4 hours. Typically homeowners save 15-20% off their energy bills after implementation of the recommended repairs. That's a significant savings - not only on your energy bills, but on your overall carbon footprint.

For your Energy Audit I highly recommend Jim McKenna of Green Step. His number is 301-758-0410. Jim is a certified BPI Building Analyst, Green Certified Professional - NARI, and HERS Certified Rater. Jim is a better Energy Auditor than Webmaster, so call him to talk about your particular needs and to learn more about the services he offers.


Starting Janurary 1, 2009 Sellers in Montgomery County are required to provide the Buyer copies of the electric, gas, and heating oil bills OR cost and usage history for the single-family home for the immediate prior 12 months.

If you plan to sell your house anytime soon you should think about getting an Energy Audit now. Rather than burrying your energy bills with the disclosures you can include the results of the Audit along with recepits for improvements and copies of your energy bills in your marketing package. That's smart selling.

Friday, May 22, 2009

$50 Rebate for Each Rain Barrel

Install a rain barrel and you may receive a $50 rebate from Montgomery County's RainScapes Program for each rain barrel you install.

We all want to do our part to conserve water and prevent stormwater runoff polution in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay so check out these links to learn more about rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavers and other innovative approaches to help conserve our natural resources - and get some cash back for doing the right thing!

Rain Barrel Workshop
Application for rebates