Monthly Expenses

Perhaps the greatest incentive for undergoing energy efficiency retrofits in your home is that the steps that you take to reduce your energy consumption will also save you money on your monthly energy bills. Even when taking into account the higher initial costs for some materials and equipment, the money that you can save on your utility bills can quickly make up the difference in cost between conventional products and energy efficient products.

Some long-term energy and cost savings measures cost very little up-front. Relatively inexpensive products such as compact fluorescent lights and storm windows reduce energy consumption and quickly pay for themselves in energy savings with only a small initial investment. Another common-sense, practical step to take is caulking and weatherstripping around window and door frames to seal leaks and gaps. Air sealing with caulk and weatherstripping is an easy DIY project that starts saving you money right away.

Big-ticket items may seem like difficult expenditures to justify in some cases; but despite large up-front costs, replacing an inefficient HVAC system, old appliances, and single-paned windows can pay big dividends. In many cases, there are also creative ways to finance more expensive energy efficiency measures to make those up-front costs easier to swallow, while still reaping the benefits of long-term savings. If you need to replace broken equipment or are building a new home, energy-efficient replacements become very easy to justify. They may be a bit more expensive than conventional products, but the differential savings over time can be great, making the energy-efficient unit much more affordable in the long run. In the case of HVAC equipment, appliances, and other big-ticket items, energy savings can make up for the cost difference in just a few years.
Of course, some products that you can use to reduce your home's energy efficiency will have a bigger payback than others. One of the most significant ways to save money on utility bills by reducing energy consumption is by adding insulation to a poorly or uninsulated home. Walls are a huge source of heat transfer in your home in both the summer and the winter. Solar Thermal panels use passive solar energy to heat water for a variety of indoor uses. They get much less attention than photovoltaic panels, which use the sun's energy to produce electricity on site, but they are much less expensive to install and can pay for themselves in savings in water heating very quickly. Cool roofing is another strategy with a quick payback since most cool roofing material carries with it the same cost as equivalent conventional roofing.

There are different financing options that you can consider to help with large purchases. In many cases, such as on-bill financing or in an energy efficiency mortgage, the monthly payment can be less than your monthly energy savings. Even as you repay the loan, you are still saving money.