Ideas to save money and energy

Consider some of these energysaving investments. They save money in the long run, and their CO2 savings can often be measured in tons a year.

Consider some of these energysaving investments. They save money in the long run, and their CO2 savings can often be measured in tons a year.

Energy savings usually have the best payback when made at the same time you are making other major home improvements.

Insulate your walls and ceilings. This can save 20 to 30percent of home heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions by 50kg to 1000kg a year.

If you live in a colder climate consider super-insulating. That can save 5,5tons of CO2 a year for gas-heated homes, 8,8tons a year for oil heat, or 23tons a year for electric heat.

If you have electric heat, you might also consider switching to more efficient gas or oil.

Modernise your windows. Replacing all your ordinary windows with argon-filled, double-glazed windows saves 2,4tons of CO2 a year for homes with gas heat, 3,9tons of oil heat and 9,8tons for electric heat.

Plant shade trees and paint your house a light colour if you live in a warm climate, or a dark colour if you live in a cold climate.

Reductions in energy use resulting from shade trees and appropriate painting can save up to 2,4tons of CO2 emissions a year.

Each tree also directly absorbs about 14kg of CO2 from the air yearly.

Weatherise your home or apartment, using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows. Caulking costs less than R7,50 a window, and weather stripping is less than R80 a door.

These steps can save up to 600kg of CO2 a year for a typical home. Ask your utility company for a home-energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient.

This service might be provided free or at low cost. Make sure it includes a check of your furnace and air conditioning. - Powerscore

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