Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 27

GEORGIA'S Energy Outlook

By Alan C. Shedd

The energy-efficient home

Start with
simple, low-cost
and no-cost
ways to save
energy.
Unplugging
appliances that
are not in use,
turning off
lights and
adjusting your
thermostat
by just a few
degrees can
reduce your
monthly electric
bill and start
you on the
path to a more
energy-efficient
home.

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L

ast month, this series introduced readers to
renewable-energy sources available in
Georgia. Before you decide if installing
renewable-energy-generating sources in your home
is right for you, though, do some homework: Make
sure your home is energy efficient.
Why is having an energy-efficient home a
prerequisite to adding residential renewable energy,
such as solar power? Sunshine is free, but the equipment you'll need to harness
solar energy and use it to
power your home is expensive. Be smart about making
that investment by reducing
your home's energy requirements.
Start with simple, lowcost and no-cost ways to save
energy. Unplugging appliances that are not in use, turning
off lights and adjusting your
thermostat by just a few
Adding insulation
in places such as
degrees can reduce your monthly electric
your attic can save
bill and start you on the path to a more
energy and reduce
energy-efficient home.
your electric bill.
The next step is tightening up your
home by addressing issues such as:
* Air sealing: Reducing air leaks by sealing holes
and gaps in your home provides a big return. Your
electric membership cooperative (EMC) may be
able to help by conducting a blower-door test to
pinpoint air leaks.
* Leaky ducts: Most heating and air-conditioning
ducts are not airtight. Many homes lose 15 percent
to 25 percent of the air that should be flowing
through them to leaks, making your air conditioner
work harder and creating air-quality issues.
* Insulation: Are your floors and attic properly insulated? Adding insulation is money well-spent.
Other elements in your home have a major
impact on its energy use:
* Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning
(HVAC) system: Have a NATE (North American
Technician Excellence)-certified HVAC contractor
inspect and tune up your system.
* Appliances: If you are planning to replace major
appliance, choose an ENERGY STAR appliance.
However, even the most energy-efficient
appliances can cost a lot to operate when they're

LED lightbulbs use less energy and last
longer than incandescent bulbs.

left on all the time. Read the instructions on the energy-saving features,
and turn off the appliances when
they're not needed.
* Water heating uses a lot of energy. To
save energy, reduce your water heater's
temperature, use cold water to wash
clothes and install low-flow fixtures,
showerheads and aerators.
* Lighting: Today's light-emitting diode
(LED) lamps use one-fifth the energy
that incandescent lightbulbs use and
last 10 times longer.
By taking these steps, you'll save
energy and money and have a more efficient, comfortable home. Home energy
efficiency improvements are the least
expensive way to decrease your costs and help the environment.
These improvements can also help reduce the size and cost of
homegrown, renewable-energy sources, such as solar panels,
that you may install in the future.
Your local EMC has a staff of energy experts ready and willing to assist and advise you in making your home more energy
efficient and readying it to take advantage of renewable energy.
Alan C. Shedd is the director of sustainability for Tuckerbased Oglethorpe Power Corp.
www.georgiamagazine.org

27


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Georgia Magazine - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover4
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