Monday, December 5, 2011

NYSERDA Boosts Contractors, Creates a Skilled Clean Energy Workforce

By Elizabeth Silleck, Westchester Business Journal

The story of BrightHome Energy Solutions, LLC (BrightHome) exemplifies NYSERDA's success in supporting small business growth and workforce development in the clean energy field.

Mike Brown, Partner, Bright Home Energy Solutions from Elizabeth Silleck on Vimeo.

New Yorkers know the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) best for injecting millions of dollars into the state economy for direct support of clean energy projects in buildings and homes. While NYSERDA continues to provide funding for retrofits, energy efficient  construction and renewable energy installations, it might get less attention for its other efforts — namely, business and workforce development. The story of BrightHome Energy Solutions, LLC (BrightHome) exemplifies NYSERDA’s success in supporting small-business growth and workforce development in the clean energy field.

In the midst of a struggling economy, business is good at BrightHome.  Since 2009, the company has created 30 jobs in Westchester County. As a result, the county has 30 formerly unemployed people who have steady income and possible career prospects in the clean energy sector.

One of those jobs went to a disadvantaged worker who received NYSERDA-funded workforce development training at the Osborne Association. BrightHome also hired employees through workforce development initiatives of the Westchester/Putnam Workforce Investment Board, Sustainable South Bronx and WestCOP.

A key ingredient to BrightHome’s success is its participation in NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program, which requires participating contractors to be accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

“Home Performance training really gave us a foundation for doing energy efficiency work and enabled us to measure the results,” explained Mike Brown, partner at BrightHome.

Home Performance training teaches contractors to view the house as a system, understanding that changes to one part of the home can and do affect the home’s performance overall. As Brown explained, “It’s all about how things interact with each other — we see this house as a living organism with a life span. We want to figure out how to make it last as long as possible.”

One essential diagnostic strategy used by Home Performance contractors is the Comprehensive Home Assessment, which uncovers health, safety and energy-usage data used to determine appropriate energy-saving improvements. NYSERDA is currently offsetting the cost of Comprehensive Home Assessments to homeowners across the state, so contractors like BrightHome can provide them for free or at reduced cost, depending on the homeowner’s income.

In addition, NYSERDA supports a network of training sites across the state and reimburses half the cost of BPI technician certification. Depending on available funding, additional training incentives may be available for certain regions. NYSERDA also helps contractors ramp up their businesses by assisting with initial equipment costs and by providing co-operative marketing dollars.

“Last year alone, NYSERDA reimbursed us about $9,000 toward our marketing activities. We’ve invested in newspaper ads, television, website banners and signage on our vehicles,” Brown remarked.

Once a contractor has successfully obtained BPI accreditation and is approved to participate in NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program, the contractor’s clients have access to cash incentives, low-interest financing and, for those who are income-eligible, direct subsidies of up to 50 percent of project costs. NYSERDA’s customer incentives are vital to BrightHome’s business.

“Between the financing at 3.49 percent interest and the cash incentives, I have one client right now who is investing in insulation, air sealing, a high-efficiency heating unit and air conditioning system with no out-of-pocket cost. What’s more, the projected energy cost savings will offset the annual loan payments,” said Brown.

BrightHome was formed exclusively as a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractor, but many participants in the program had already been in business for years as home improvement contractors before signing up with NYSERDA. A full list of participating contractors can be found at You’ll always want to do your homework before engaging any contractor.

BrightHome’s experience with NYSERDA is an example of a public/private partnership that is achieving measurable results. The business is growing, and formerly unemployed people have jobs working on projects that reduce energy use.

For more information about how to become a participating Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractor or general questions about NYSERDA, contact your local Energy $mart Communities Coordinator at

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BrightHome's Mike Brown Explains the Benefits of an Energy Audit on WCBS Channel 2 in New York

We're in the news! Watch as BrightHome's Mike Brown explains how to lower your heating bills this winter with a free home energy audit.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BrightHome Energy Solutions Expands To Long Island To Help Homeowners Reduce Energy Usage

BrightHome Energy Solutions Expands To Long Island To Help Homeowners Reduce Energy Usage

Sound Beach, NY – BrightHome Energy Solutions, an Elmsford, New York based home energy solutions company, is proud to announce that it is expanding its operations into Long Island. The company has helped countless homeowners across New York and New Jersey increase their homes’ comfort and energy efficiency and navigate the complicated world of green rebates and tax credits.

“Many homeowners are intimidated by the complex-sounding language around tax credits and rebates for energy efficiency improvements,” said Tom Brown of BrightHome Energy Solutions. “We have the expertise to help homeowners make sense of these incentives to maximize their energy efficiency investments.”

BrightHome is well versed in program incentives for Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), National Grid, the Town of Babylon and NYSERDA’s Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY). In fact, through GJGNY, BrightHome is able to offer unsecured loans of up to $25,000 at rates as low as 3.49% for energy efficiency improvements and many customers qualify for free audits.  BrightHome’s Energy Saving Consultants does the work to save customers the most money.

In addition, homeowners can still take advantage of a 10% rebate on qualifying energy-saving improvements of up to $30,000 with the Home Performance with Energy Star program.

BrightHome Energy Savings Consultant Tom Brown knows there’s more to energy efficiency improvements than just savings. “Our services can make your home more comfortable, reduce drafts and uneven temperatures, eliminate musty smells and even reduce allergens in your home.”

About BrightHome Energy Solutions
BrightHome Energy Solutions, headquartered in Elmsford, NY, offers energy efficiency solutions to residents in New York State. All key team members are trained in building sciences and green weatherization techniques. BrightHome offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home, giving you the most bang for your buck, while protecting the environment.

BrightHome consultants are accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). BrightHome offers the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program, a state and national program from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)


BrightHome is a registered trademark. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Tom Brown
74 Hempstead Drive
Sound Beach, NY  11789

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Governor Cuomo Unveils $8 Million Household Appliance Recovery Program

Today the governor of New York announced a new $8 million dollar plan to help those who suffered damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The plan will help cover the costs of replacement appliances such as refrigerators, furnaces, washing machines and boilers.

A list of eligible equipment and appliances and rebate levels is as follows:

Eligible Equipment & Appliances Rebate
Refrigerators (ENERGY STAR) $350
Clothes Washers (ENERGY STAR) $250
Clothes Dryers w/Moisture Sensor (higher efficiency) $250
Dehumidifiers (ENERGY STAR) $100
Furnace (ENERGY STAR) $2,000
Boiler (ENERGY STAR) $2,500
Hot Water Heater Tanks (electric- higher efficiency; gas- ENERGY STAR) $400

More information available on the Governor's website:

If you have any questions about the new program or for more information, contact a BrightHome team member at (914) 909 - 5300. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Record Highs Don’t Have to Mean Record High Electric Bills

Heat waves have been sweeping across the nation and record highs have been recorded from coast to coast. With heat like this, air conditioners everywhere are working hard to keep families cool, but yours doesn’t have to work as hard as you might think if your house is optimized to deliver maximum comfort for minimum energy dollars.

One of the best ways to keep your air conditioner from having to work as hard is by making sure your home is properly air sealed and insulated.

“When your home isn’t properly air sealed, cool air can escape through cracks, gaps and spaces,” says Tom Brown, an Energy Savings Consultant with BrightHome Energy Solutions. “Heat can seep into your home the same way. That means your air conditioner has to work that much harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.” And we all know that the harder your air conditioner works, the higher your electricity bills will be.

But how do you keep from spending a fortune air conditioning your home if your cool air is slipping through the cracks? Brown recommends having your home’s envelope inspected to detect problem areas. BrightHome has a variety of tests available, including a blower door test and infrared thermal imaging.

Once your problem spots have been identified, you can have professionals like the certified energy experts at BrightHome seal and insulate your home to keep cool air in, hot air out and your electricity bills down. BrightHome technicians use smart, effective, affordable materials that do the most work for the best price, including closed-cell foam, foam board and loose blown cellulose insulation.

Bob from Valhalla, New York can attest to the benefits of sealing and insulation. “Best decision I ever made with regards to the house,” he says. “Plus, the house is much more comfortable…and I sleep easier knowing my house isn't wasting energy like it used to.”

Theses changes won’t just work for you during the summer months either. The same air sealing and insulation that keeps heat out and cool in during the summer will keep heat in and cold out during the winter months. Do the work now and you won’t have to worry about cold spots, drafts and high heating bills when winter rolls around. You’ll feel the benefits all year long.

And finally, let’s not forget the air conditioning unit itself. Air conditioners require regular maintenance to keep them running at peak condition. Having your air conditioner serviced by a company like BrightHome can create a noticeable increase in its performance and in turn a noticeable decrease in your electricity bills. And if it turns out that your air conditioner is in bad enough shape, or that it’s just too inefficient even at peak performance, BrightHome can install a high efficiency air conditioning unit that could reduce your cooling costs by up to 30%.

There’s no need to sweat high electricity bills any longer. It’s time to maximize your energy efficiency dollars and minimize your energy costs.

BrightHome can help you take advantage of Con Edison rebates, Federal Tax Credits or up to $3,000 in New York Home Performance with Energy Star® cash incentives and financing as low as 3.49%.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How To Make Sure Winter Drafts Don't Become Summer Hot Spots

Those cold drafts that blow through houses induce shivers and raise energy bills throughout the winter months are over. But don’t be fooled. Having a poorly insulated and sealed home, which causes those winter drafts, will continue to raise your energy bills throughout the summer. 

“What many people don’t realize is that the same problem areas that make your home cold and drafty in the winter will make your home hot and uncomfortable in the summer,” says Tom Brown, an Energy Savings Consultant with BrightHome Energy Solutions. “Heat enters your home in the same way that cold does, making your air conditioner work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, which ultimately costs you money on your energy bills.”

Brown recommends checking your home’s airtightness to identify problem areas. BrightHome has a variety of tests available, including the blower door test, where a calibrated fan in a door-panel unit is used to measure how much air your home is leaking, and a thermal imaging test, which uses a camera to detect changes in temperature and create a map of your home’s problem areas. But knowing where your problem spots are isn’t much use unless you know what to do about them.

Brown explains what comes next, “Once we identify the places in your home that need insulation and air sealing, we create a set of custom recommendations designed to save you energy in the most cost efficient manner.  Together with your input we develop the best plan for your needs and budget to properly insulate and air seal your home.”

Many BrightHome customers have identified their windows as a problem area and were concerned that they needed to replace their windows.  In many cases, properly air sealing and insulating the walls around the windows actually proved more cost effective at reducing energy costs and making the house more comfortable. 

Sometimes, however, new windows are necessary or desired.  Argon insulated windows and windows with low-emittance coatings can reduce heat gain during summer months, with the added benefit of reducing heat loss in the winter. Replacing windows is a fine art though. BrightHome technicians who install energy efficient windows are also experienced carpenters who know how to install your windows for maximum airtightness and match your new windows to the style of your home for seamless design integration.

To keep winter drafts from becoming your sweltering summer indoor hotspots and raising your energy bills, give BrightHome a call. A BrightHome certified home energy efficiency consultant can check out your home and give you custom recommendations to help you get the biggest bang for your energy efficiency buck.  At BrightHome our mission is to help you use less energy, save money and be more comfortable. 

BrightHome can help you take advantage of up to $3,500 in New York Home Performance with Energy Star® cash incentives and Federal Tax Credits and financing as low as 3.49%.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

White Plains Earth Day Event - $50 per Audit for Tornado Victims

Today, I will be at the White Plains, New York Earth Day Event. It is also a few days after a tornado has killed over 300 of our fellow citizens throughout the south. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all who have been impacted by this natural disaster.

For every audit that we sign up today at the White Plains event or over the week end on our website, BrightHome will contribute $50 to the American Red Cross tornado efforts.

We hope to see you in downtown White Plains! Mike Brown

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eco-Ed's Tips for Earth Day

Earth Day began 41 years ago, on April 22nd, 1970 and is more widely celebrated every year.  There are many ways that you can celebrate Earth Day and they are all correct.  

Some of the actions you can take are:

Purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle, or driving less will reduce the amount of gas you use.  Walking into town instead of driving, or riding a bicycle has the added benefit of getting you in better shape physically.  You may be surprised at how wonderful you feel when become more physically active.

Choosing to eat less meat, or become vegetarian, as raising beef has an extremely high carbon footprint.   Even enjoying a vegetarian meal once in a while is a step in the right direction, and you may enjoy the new epicurean experience!

Save energy at home.  I always recommend starting with an energy audit, so you can understand where you are using and wasting energy.  Once this is accomplished, you can then prioritize the steps to take to reduce that energy use.  The simplest steps which everyone can do, are to turn off lights when not in the room, and replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED ones.  Look for Energy Star appliances.  No step is too small.

Shop locally.  This supports local businesses, and reduces the amount of travel to stores.  Many towns have Farmer's Markets, which have excellent locally-grown produce.

Attend a local Earth Day event for ideas on environmentally sound practices, products and services.  Our event in Ridgewood will be on May 14th (a little late for Earth Day, but it will coincide with the Sidewalk Sale event).  The RHS Student Environmental Action group is sponsoring a drive for people to Do One Thing (DOT).  This is their personal sustainability pledge that everyone can take.  This pledge asks people to choose one thing that they can commit to doing which will benefit our planet.  Other towns will also be having Earth Day events, so check the papers for one nearest you.

Plant a tree.  You can do this in your yard, or in a park on town property (with proper permission).  How cool would it be to plant a beautiful old growth specimen that your grandchildren can climb and look at, and know that you planted it for future generations!

The additional benefit of most of these activities is that they save you money, or support the local economy!  Everyone has different passions, so I suggest that you follow yours, as it will bring you the most personal satisfaction.  

What I have found is that your first step will be emotionally fulfilling, and you never know where it leads.  The journey is always the fun part!

"Eco-Ed" Schwartz

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Eight Easy Earth Day Tips

It’s almost Earth Day, and you know what that means– it’s time to think about what you can do for the environment. But there’s good news. You don’t have to spend a fortune to start saving energy. Here are a few easy things you can do yourself that can help you go green and save money at the same time.

1. Change your air conditioner’s filters regularly. Check your filters to verify how often they need to be changed – four, nine, 12 months – and make sure to clean reusable filters approximately once a month to maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency and reduce the amount of energy you need to keep your home cool.

2. Get a programmable thermostat. You can set it to run your air conditioner and heater less when you’re away from home, but have it re-adjust your home’s temperature shortly before you return home so you still get maximum comfort with minimal hassle.

3. Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. This is especially true for items like cell phone chargers, MP3 players and tablet PCs. Electronics still draw energy from the wall as long as they’re plugged in, even when they’re not turned on, so unplug and stop these energy vampires from sucking your wallet dry.

4. Use your computer’s power saving features, like setting your computer and/or monitor to go into sleep mode after a certain amount of time. A computer in sleep mode can use up to 70 percent less energy than a computer not using energy saving features.

5. Set ceiling fans to spin the right direction for the season. During the summer, set your fan counter clockwise to create circulation for a cooling effect. For winter, set your fan clockwise to pull hot air near the ceiling into the living spaces in your home. That way you can use less energy running heaters and air conditioners without sacrificing comfort.

6. Use your blinds to help with climate control. In the summer, keep your east-facing blinds closed in the morning and your west-facing blinds closed in the evening to block radiant heat from the sun and reduce cooling costs. Keep the same blinds open in the winter to let heat in and reduce your heating bills.

7. Wash your clothes in cold water. Washing them on a hot water cycle means your water heater has to work hard and use lots of energy to keep the water hot. A cold water cycle can reduce the amount of energy it takes to wash a load of clothes by as much as 90 percent.

8. Clean your dryer’s lint trap after every use to reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to dry your clothes and, if your dryer has one, use the moisture sensor setting so your dryer doesn’t keep running unnecessarily after your clothes are dry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day with BrightHome!

It's almost that time of the year…Earth Day! A time for all of us to think about how we impact the world we live in.

There are hundreds of things you can do right now to reduce your energy usage and minimize pollution in the environment. From insulation to caulking, to simple things like changing light bulbs, we believe that even the small things can make a difference.

To celebrate Earth Day, we will be out in New Jersey and New York talking with homeowners about living green and consuming less energy. Here’s where to find us:

New York
April 17 – Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
April 30 - White Plains Earth Day Celebration
May 15 - 21st Annual Shad Festival & Hudson River Celebration, Garrison, NY

New Jersey
April 16 - Essex County Earth Day, Essex County Environmental Center
April 30 - Morris County Earth Day, Lewis Morris Park, Morristown
May 14 - Ridgewood Earth Day, Downtown Ridgewood

Earth Day 2011 is celebrated on April 22.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New York Green Job Heroes

Wednesday is often called "hump day" since you are looking at sliding into Friday. This past Wednesday was far from that, it was for me highly motivational.

I was at Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx). They work with the South Bronx and other under-served urban communities to help transform themselves into great sustainable places to live. They do this by providing a collaborative model that addresses environmental, economic and social concerns through policy change, green job training, environmental education and community greening programs.

The centerpiece of Sustainable South Bronx's workforce development is the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (BEST) Academy which honored their partners in achievement and success. Miquela Craytor, Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx, stated, "Today's honorees have been pillars of program and our community, distinguished by their flexibility, commitment and inventiveness in supporting our trainees."

There were five honorees including BrightHome Energy Solutions, but I want to share the stories of the other four that set me soaring the rest of this week.

Million Trees NYC, New York City has a goal to plant one million (1,000,000) trees. That's one new tree for every eight residents of NYC. Additionally, they educate the residents about the positive benefits to the environment and our daily lives. The BEST program has provided trained landscape team members and supervisors for the program who are able to hone their landscaping skills and make New York City greener.

Bronx River Alliance, they are bit by bit cleaning up the Bronx River and making it once again a source of pride. What started out as mission of few has become a full fledged attempt, and they are winning, to make the Bronx River a place where people enjoy a peaceful walk or place to read. Again, the BEST program has trained unemployed South Bronx residents to understand what skills and work it takes to create a greener and cleaner Bronx River.

Central Park Conservancy, operates Central Park in New York City. The park has over twenty-five million visitors each year and needs lots of people to maintain and improve its beauty. And again, the BEST program has been up to the challenge of recruiting, training providing the workers who refine their landscaping skills daily. BEST workers in the park have in the past taken their skills and opened their own landscaping business. This is win win for everyone, a clean park, job training and future job creators!

Finally, the Association of Energy Affordability, Inc. Their mission is to use the principle of energy efficiency to keep housing affordable and livable for low and moderate income residents in New York City. One of their programs is to weatherize multifamily homes to reduce energy costs and make them more comfortable. Through BEST training programs the unemployed receive training in insulating, air sealing and auditing becoming part of the green movement and helping their neighbors save money.

Congratulations to Sustainable South Bronx and the other four honorees! It was great day to hear about heroes on the front line making our lives better!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Your Money May be Slipping Through the Cracks

Home Improvements Reduce Energy Usage up to 40% 

Have you felt a draft lately? Does your house have cold and hot spots? Do your heating and cooling bills seem higher than they should be? If so, your home may have a problem with air sealing and insulation.

Tom Brown, an Energy Savings Consultant with BrightHome Energy Solutions explains, “An improperly sealed home means heat could be escaping through cracks and crevices and other holes drilled in your walls and floors. Cold air makes its way in, raising your heating costs and seriously affecting your family’s comfort.  In the summertime these same holes allow in the heat raising your cooling costs.

It’s not only your wallet and family’s comfort that are at stake.  You may also be compromising your home’s indoor air quality, exposing your family to dust and allergens from outside. Poorly sealed areas allow moisture transfer, increasing the chances of mold formation, which can lead to health risks and even structural problems.”

Mr. Brown continues, “There are several tests that BrightHome can do to measure the airtightness of your home and identify problem spots. These tests require highly specialized equipment, but will yield extremely accurate results about where your home is losing energy.”

The first test BrightHome conducts is a blower door test.  A calibrated fan in a door-panel unit is used to measure the amount of air leakage in your home.  The higher the number, the more your home is wasting energy and money. 

Next your energy consultant will use a thermal imaging camera to identify where leakage is occurring.  The camera detects changes in temperature and creates a map of your home’s problem areas.

Once problem spots are identified, BrightHome will use spray foam, caulk, foam board, and cellulose insulation as required addressing the cracks and holes in your home’s walls, attic and basement.

A home that is properly air sealed and insulated by BrightHome has numerous benefits. Your home will be more comfortable by reducing cold and hot spots and drafts. Your indoor air quality will improve by keeping pollutants and allergens out.  You and your family will breathe cleaner and healthier air. You will reduce moisture transfer, protecting yourself from the health and structural risks of mold.

Because they don’t have to work as hard, you will extend the life of your heating and air conditioning systems. And most importantly, you will reduce your energy usage and save money.

BrightHome can help you take advantage of up to $3,500 in New York Home Performance with Energy Star® cash incentives and Federal Tax Credits and financing as low as 3.49%. 

Call BrightHome to schedule an appointment to learn how to stay warm and save money at 914-909-5300 or visit us at Services include air sealing, insulation, windows, doors and heating and cooling systems.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Don’t Let Your Energy Costs Go Through The Roof!

It’s been a cold and snowy winter in New York. This year more than ever energy bills have gone through the roof - literally. The reason? Heat loss due to poor insulation in your attic and home.

Have you noticed some homes wear an undisturbed blanket of snow on their roof? While other homes have patchy or no snow and icicles hanging from the gutters?

BrightHome Energy Consultant, Tom Brown says, “The condition of the snow on your roof will give you a good idea about whether your attic is adequately insulated.”

Like wearing a hat on a cold day, a well-insulated attic ensures that the entire house stays warm and comfortable. Poor insulation causes a home to lose heat in many places, but, since hot air rises, it will naturally move up to the attic.

“Unless the heat is held back by insulation, it will rise up and melt the snow on the roof,” Mr. Brown explains. “A blanket of snow on your roof is a sign of good insulation while patchy snow melt is a sign of poor insulation.

Look at the photos in this article. They were taken on the same afternoon, four days after a recent snowstorm. If your roof looks like this one, you almost certainly have insulation issues. Notice that the escaping heat has almost entirely melted the snow.

If your roof looks like the one on the lower right, you may also have insulation issues. You’ll notice that nearly all of the snow has melted from the roof. On the roof next door, on the bottom left, plenty of snow is remaining. This is what you want to see when you check your roof. This means that there is little indoor heat escaping out the roof.”

“Our goal at BrightHome is to keep the heat you’ve paid for indoors,” said Mr. Brown. “Insulating and air sealing the home creates a more comfortable living space that costs much less to heat.”

“Scheduling a BrightHome energy audit is the first step,” said Mr. Brown. “Using our state-of-the-art assessment tools we can identify insulation deficiencies and venting problems in your home. We can make a plan specifically to meet your home’s individual needs to save you thousands of dollars in wasted energy.”

BrightHome can help you take advantage of up to $3,500 in New York Home Performance with Energy Star® cash incentives and Federal Tax Credits and financing as low as 3.49%.

Photo Credit: Kathy Boehm

Monday, February 14, 2011

February Energy Saving Tips

Here are some great Energy Saving tips for February!

1. Use your exhaust fans appropriately. In just one hour they can remove a houseful of warmed or cooled air.

2. Repair all leaky faucets. One drop per second can waste as much as 10 gallons of water in a week. If the water is hot, you lose not only the water but also the energy used to heat the water.

3. Install low-flow showerheads and faucets. It could reduce your water use by up to 50%.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Seven Bright Ideas to Cut Energy Costs in 2011

Resolve to Reduce Home Energy Bills and Increase Savings and Comfort

Happy New Year! Resolution time is upon us yet again. Many homeowners are resolving to save money in 2011. One of the easiest ways to save money is to cut home energy usage.

BrightHome Energy Solutions offers seven bright ideas on how to lower home energy bills in 2011, while making the home more comfortable and energy efficient.

1. Schedule a comprehensive home energy audit

Using state-of-the-art technology, BrightHome will evaluate your entire home checking each room for efficiency and safety. BrightHome’s energy consultants will target your home’s problem areas and develop a custom plan to meet your needs and fit your budget.

2. Insulate your home

Insulation is the most effective way to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Insulating your home keeps heat in during the winter, and blocks heat out during the summer to improve comfort and save energy.

3. Clean or replace cooling & heating filters regularly

A clean filter reduces the amount of energy your HVAC system uses to achieve desired temperatures. Brighthome recommends cleaning the filter once a month for best results. If your heating system is old or outdated, it may be time to upgrade to a more efficient system. State and federal tax credits can help pay for these equipment upgrades.

4. Reduce your hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees.

For each 10-degree reduction, you can save between 3-5% in water heating costs. Reducing the water heater temperature also slows mineral build-up and increases the life of your water heater.

5. Seal leaky ducts

Air sealing will make your heating and cooling systems work more efficiently and your home more comfortable. Air sealing will improve your home’s indoor air quality by eliminating dust, airborne pollutants, unwanted drafts entering your living space.

6. Use a programmable thermostat

Establish a program that automatically reduces heating and cooling in your home when you are not there or you don’t want it.

7. Turn off electronic equipment when not in use.

Idle electrical currents still use energy and can add up to hundreds of dollars every year. When turning off electronics such as lights, televisions and computers, use a power strip to prevent stand-by mode from drawing idle currents.

This New Year resolve to lower your energy costs. These seven bright ideas are proven to reduce energy bills immediately, increase home comfort and create life-long home energy savings.


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