Americans encouraged to follow energy diet

Remodelling your home to improve energy efficiency could pay for itself in energy and water bill savings.

That was the message from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers last month as it held Home Remodelling Month to encourage Americans to put their homes on an energy diet.

According to the organisation, remodelers are more knowledgeable than ever about green options.

The use of new technology and energy-efficiency tax credits can also help homeowners cut costs by using less energy, it said.

"Homeowners can save big on green remodels," NAHB Remodelers chairman Lonny Rutherford said.

"Not only is green remodelling good for the environment, it is great for the chequebook.

"Smart green remodelling solutions really make a difference in lightening energy bills. Just replacing faucets greatly reduces water bills.

"And installing new windows or sealing air gaps decreases wasted money on heating and air conditioning."

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that replacing toilets, showers and taps with more efficient models can save 11,000 gallons of water a year.

Programmable thermostats for heating and cooling equipment can also save 10-15% of energy use and cost less than $100.

EPA also recommends buying appliances approved under its ENERGY STAR programme, as they are designed to use between 10% and 50% less energy and water than standard appliances.

Kate Martin



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