Fall is prime time for making your home more energy-efficient

Ah fall, when a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of winter heating bills. But with a few tweaks and upgrades – aided by some helpful local energy-efficiency programs and rebates – you should be able to reduce those bills and make your home cozier in the process.

The average U.S. home spends $2,200 annually on energy. Much of that energy is lost through leaky windows and ducts, old appliances, or inefficient heating and lighting. Plugging those energy leaks is a one-time investment that pays returns for years to come.

Start your home energy makeover by signing up for a free session with one of GCE’s “energy coaches.”

Garfield Clean Energy has helped over 1,400 families from Parachute to Carbondale reduce their utility bills by up 25 percent, which equates to savings of over $500 a year based on the U.S. average. Our energy coaches can set you up with a home energy assessment, suggest the most cost-effective actions, help you tap into utility rebates and financing, and connect you with qualified contractors.

Some upgrades are spectacularly worth doing. For example, if you’ve still got some old incandescent lightbulbs, new LEDs will pay for themselves in less than a year – and we can give you a few for free.

Installing a programmable thermostat will achieve similar savings. In many homes, weatherizing leaky windows and doors, sealing ducts and tuning up the heating system are no-brainers. In some cases, bigger jobs like adding insulation or switching to an efficient new boiler will be good investments.

The home assessment and coaching services are free, thanks to GCE’s member governments and partners who recognize that helping people and communities save money on energy is a form of economic development.

Our local utilities are also quite enlightened when it comes to encouraging energy efficiency. Customers of Xcel Energy, Holy Cross Energy, Black Hills Energy and Glenwood Springs Electric can access rebates to cover up to 50 percent of project costs.

If you happen to be a Glenwood Springs Electric customer, you owe it to yourself to look into the killer rebates on high-efficiency heat pumps that the utility started offering earlier this year.

But as the year winds down, bear in mind that some rebate pools are running low, and utility programs might well change in 2022. Jump on those deals while you can!