• Check out EPA’s calculator to measure your household’s carbon footprint for energy here.
  • Calculate your household carbon footprint here.
  •’s Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audit is a guide that provides steps to perform a home energy assessment and identifies cost-effective measures to improve energy efficiency in your home.
  • Ask your local power company if they provide home energy assessments; some offer these at no charge.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room; this saves about $35/year in energy costs and extends the life of your lightbulb.
  • Use natural light. Open your shades and blinds to take advantage of natural light and save about $100/year. Exposure to natural light also decreases stress and promotes better health.
  • Move that dial; adjusting a degree or two closer to the ambient temperature results in substantial savings. For example, save 5% for every degree below 70 that you set your heater in winter.
  • If you have central AC, close the air vents in unused rooms to avoid cooling or heating unused spaces.
  • Use the power-save or economy mode on appliances and electronics.
  • Clean your dryer’s lint filter before every new load to keep efficiency at the highest level.
  • Knoxville’s Savings in the House provides targeted tips and workshops to help residents reduce their energy bills.
  • Improve your insulation.
    • Seal any cracks in the attic, basement, or crawl spaces with materials like caulk and spray foam.
    • Purchase weather stripping or draft guards to block gaps around windows and door frames.
    • When it’s time to replace your roof, opt for a reflective roof. This will help to reduce heat buildup.
    • Double paned windows provide greater insulation that help your AC system run more efficiently and extend the life of the unit.
  • Use energy more efficiently.
    • Replace incandescent light bulbs with new LED bulbs, which will last longer and save energy and money.
    • Install a programmable thermostat or utilize a service that allows you to adjust your home’s temperature while you’re out. You can avoid excessive use of your HVAC system when you’re not home and trigger the HVAC to kick on when you’re on your way home. Keeping your home a few degrees closer to the ambient temperature will substantially reduce your energy usage and expenditures.
    • Replace your air filters regularly, per manufacturer’s specifications. Your HVAC doesn’t work as hard when filters are clean, so you’ll save energy and extend the life of your unit.
    • Upgrade older appliances with new ENERGY STAR appliances. Learn more about ENERGY STAR certification here.
    • Consider purchasing alternative energy from your local power company or community program. Or install solar panels to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Replace old pots and pans with copper-bottomed ones. They use heat more efficiently when preparing food on the stove.
  • Financial savings: How much could you save by changing the way you use energy? By insulating your home against weather and temperature changes? What if you upgraded your light bulbs and installed a programmable thermostat?
  • Environmental benefits: How does your carbon footprint change if you reduce your energy usage by 20%? Replacing fossil fuels, which emit pollution and greenhouse gases with renewable resources protects the environment and avoids depleting natural resources.
  • Quality of life: What’s the benefit of sitting in your favorite chair without feeling a draft? Of knowing that the likelihood of storm damage to the interior of your home is reduced because of double paned windows, weather stripping, and insulation?



Jennifer Tribble