As the urgency to combat climate change intensifies, residents of North and South Carolina are embracing a powerful solution: energy efficiency. In this latest installment of our What Homeowners Need to Know series, learn about the smart choices you can make as part of a commitment to reduce your carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency in the home can help reduce energy consumption, lower utility bills, and contribute to a more sustainable environment. Start your energy efficiency journey with an audit. This valuable first step assesses the energy usage in your home and identifies areas where you can make improvements. You can hire a professional energy auditor or perform a DIY audit using online tools and resources.
Your energy efficiency assessment will look at several key areas of the home. Intentional choices can have an impact.
Smart home technology merits attention as well. Smart home devices and energy management systems can help automate and optimize your energy usage. Gaining the ability to control and monitor your energy consumption remotely can cut your carbon footprint. At the same time, it can offer peace of mind when you’re worried you left the drier running after leaving for dinner out.
You might also explore the possibility of installing renewable energy systems, such as solar panels. These systems can generate clean and sustainable electricity, reducing your reliance on grid power and potentially lowering your energy bills over time.
Governments and utility companies often offer incentives, rebates, and tax credits to encourage energy-efficient practices. Homeowners in the Carolinas can take advantage of federal tax credits for certain energy-efficient home improvements. Local utilities may also offer rebates for energy efficiency, free audits, or discounted or free products.
In South Carolina, you might benefit from programs such as the South Carolina Residential Energy Efficiency Program, which provides incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in residential properties. It has also offered rebates for eligible measures such as insulation, HVAC systems, and ENERGY STAR appliances. The Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (ECSE) allows homeowners to exclude from their state income tax the value of any subsidies received through state or local programs for energy conservation measures.
North Carolina similarly offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades and rebates for eligible measures. Some North Carolina utilities also offers low-interest loans to homeowners who make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The loans could be used for measures such as insulation, HVAC upgrades, and ENERGY STAR appliances.
Making energy efficient choices at home can reduce your consumption and lower your utility bills. Energy-efficient upgrades can also make for a more comfortable home. You’ll enjoy more consistent temperatures and could prevent minimize moisture condensation, which can lead to mold growth and damage to the building structure. All this can benefit your property value in the long run too.
Simultaneously, you can play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. You’re also helping American energy security. When households consume less energy, it reduces overall demand, which can reduce strain on the power grid and help reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.