Energy Diet: How much can you lose?

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Interested in reducing your energy waistline? How about lowering your home energy costs? Take the Northwest Colorado Energy Diet Challenge with homeowners across Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties to see how much you can lose in home energy usage. The Northwest Colorado Energy steering committee has developed an Energy Diet Challenge checklist tool to motivate and equip homeowners in reducing energy usage and thereby reducing home energy costs. This is the first of a six-article series to encourage homeowners to act now when the weather is getting cooler.

Most homeowners think their houses provide adequate warmth. But are your family members wearing a coat indoors or complaining about drafts throughout your house? By conducting a careful study of your past three years’ energy costs (fuel and electricity), you will be enlightened — if not shocked — at the increased energy costs in your bills. Looking at your household budget, how much do you spend on electricity and gas/propane/wood? We encourage you to go on the energy diet and spend less of your household budget on energy costs. We bet most households could use the savings on other needed amenities.

The Energy Diet checklist is a tool to help us act on simple items we can do at home. Post the checklist on your refrigerator (the checklist has a magnet on the back for posting) and check off items you have completed from three levels of action items — nice and easy, intermediate and advanced. Our articles will delve into each of the three areas to give homeowners tips and tricks for how to make their homes more efficient and comfortable.

The checklists are available at Bud Werner Memorial Library, Hayden Public Library, city and town halls, the Routt County Courthouse and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. You also can download a PDF of the checklist at www.yampavalleydatapartners.com. The Energy Diet Challenge is for tri-county residents, so the competition could be tough. Pick up your checklist, and get started today.

In future articles, we will follow the outline of the checklist to support and encourage those motivated to reduce energy usage and cost in their homes. We will include real-world examples to encourage and motivate homeowners in their efforts.

We challenge all readers with an assignment. Take time to pick up the Energy Diet Challenge checklist, read it and use it as a guide to save on your household energy budget. How much can you lose?

Rich Beason is a member of the Northwest Colorado Energy Plan steering committee.

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