Resources for Sustainability: Utilizing Tools to Assess Residential Energy and Financial Savings
As urban and suburban areas continue to expand amidst growing populations, integrated networks of energy supplies can help maintain effective use of resources.
Team Gemini has previously highlighted the importance of smart cities, and how developing proper resource infrastructure contributes to economic and environmental savings. These examples showcase how success in sustainability relies heavily on sustainable growth, adaptation, and more integrated forms of energy systems.
Individual households—whether within urban or suburban regions—create significant demand for energy and utility services. While Team Gemini mainly focuses on industry-level technologies to create and maintain sustainable communities, all consumers of a community’s resource supplies ultimately make a difference.
In this Resources for Sustainability article, we outline a set of resources from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. These help inform households of their choices in an effort to further optimize a community’s energy supply and demand.
|QUESTION||TOOL OR CALCULATOR||INFORMATION|
|What appliances or electronics are using the most energy in my house?||Energy Saver’s Home Appliance and Electronic Device Energy Use Calculator||Estimate your annual energy use and cost to operate more than 50 common household products|
|How does my energy usage compare to others across the country?||Energy Star’s Home Energy Yardstick||This home assessment tool uses your last 12 months of utility bills to score your household efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10 in comparison to similar homes.|
|What energy-saving upgrades make the most sense based on my local climate and energy prices?||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Home Energy Saver||Enter information about your house to get a customized list of energy savings recommendations.|
|How much can I expect to save by upgrading to energy efficient products?||Energy Department’s Energy- and Cost-Savings Calculators||Understand payback periods for various products based on capacity, energy costs, hours of use, and efficiency levels.|
|What tax credits, rebates, and savings are available for any upgrades I make?||Energy Department’s Database of Incentives||Search for federal, state, and local incentives to offset the cost of energy efficient improvements and renewable energy technologies in your home.|
|Which car should I take?||FuelEconomy.gov’s Trip Calculator||Drivers with more than one vehicle in their garage can determine which will be the best for their trip.|
|Is there a more cost-effective and energy efficient vehicle that would be right for me?||Energy Department’s Vehicle Cost Calculator||Compare emissions and lifetime operating costs of specific vehicle models, including conventional cars and trucks, as well as vehicles running on alternative fuels, such as electricity, ethanol, natural gas, or biodiesel.|
|Where can I get fuel for my non-gasoline-powered car?||Energy Department’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator||Find more than 16,000 public alternative fuel and charging stations across the country.|
For a full listing of Team Gemini sustainability tools and resources, please visit our resources page at http://teamgemini.us/resources/.