Michigan offers free energy audits that can reduce household bills and emissions
Energy auditors and certified contractors can help low-income families improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs through a federal house weathering program.
The effort has cut household energy bills for approximately 1,300 low-income families in Michigan by an average of more than $ 280 a year, officials said. And the measures don’t just save money. They also offer environmental benefits.
An office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services runs the state’s Weather Support Program, through which energy auditors can help families find the best ways to save energy and even improve indoor air quality.
Energy auditors use advanced diagnostic equipment such as infrared cameras and analysis software to examine participants’ homes. Then they recommend various improvements such as insulation, airtight windows and other leaks, or switching to more efficient lighting and water-saving luminaires.
Lewis Roubal, MDHHS assistant director for opportunities, said reduced heating bills can be a lifeline for low-income families who may struggle to pay their utility bills. He said the savings could be used for other purposes.
Eligibility based on household income and whether homes are ready for contractor weathering upgrades. Those interested in applying can contact their local citizens’ initiative.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer underscored the importance of the program by declaring October “weather month”.
Energy efficiency can also have an impact on the environment.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that heating and cooling buildings accounts for about 43% of energy use in the United States. Additionally, research shows that residential energy use accounts for about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide, with wealthier Americans typically having a 25% larger carbon footprint.
“The cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use,” said Tina Reynolds, director of environmental health programs for the nonprofit Michigan Environmental Council.
“If we reduce our consumption it will be the greenest, you know, that should be the first line of defense and so it is definitely good for both the environment and the looming climate crisis we are all facing,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds said the program also gives participants opportunities to improve indoor air quality. Increased carbon monoxide, moisture, mold and ventilation requirements can also be uncovered by the energy audits.
“The weathering is part of a green and healthy living category and the weathering affects your building envelope. So you keep both air pollution, diesel exhaust, and pollution out of your home; They also improve and increase the ventilation airflow in your home, ”she said.
Energy efficiency Tips of consumer energy:
1. Reduce energy waste with smart power strips
2. Maintain heating and cooling systems
3. Set your refrigerator for optimal cooling and freshness
4. Use your washing machine’s cold water program
5. Seal your windows and doors
6. Do not use game consoles to stream
7. Set your water heater to 120 degrees
8. Upgrade your lighting with LED lamps
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