Live Green At Heart: Home Energy

7:33 PM, Aug 30, 2011   |    comments
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As the cost of energy increases more homeowners are looking for ways to make their houses more energy efficient. With the help of the Oak Ridge National Lab, a Rockwood man has gone all out to cut his utility bills.

John Shaw decided that when he did a kitchen makeover and fixed a roof problem, he would tackle a bigger issue. He invested an additional $8,000 to use less energy. 

The first job was to seal up the air leaks and add insulation. He then replaced his old air conditioner with a different design. Eliminating the outside ductwork makes the entire system more efficient.

He bought new appliances and installed LED and florescent lights. "Everybody can do this. You can call your utility, wherever that bill is going to and have a home energy evaluation. Take about 90 minutes of your time. Somebody walks through and customizes your long term plan for that house," said ORNL Building Researcher Jeff Christian.

John's house is one of ten retrofitted energy upgrades being studied by ORNL. Temperatures, Humidity and electric use are monitored by computers at the lab in a year long study. 

Shaw's electric bill for July was $106, which is 35% less than July 2010. With those kind of savings it will take ten to eleven years to pay for the improvements. 

The Department of Energy said investment in home's energy improvements will not only reduce the country's need for oil, but create jobs as well.

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