SOURCE: Choose Energy

April 21, 2014 10:05 ET

Choose Energy Celebrates Earth Day, Shares Six Ways to "Go Green," Save Energy and Money When Buying, Building, or Renovating a Home

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 21, 2014) - Choose Energy, the leading residential and commercial online energy shopping engine, is celebrating Earth Day by sharing six ways to save energy and money when building, buying or renovating a home.

As the economy and real estate market continue to improve, Americans are once again purchasing or building new properties and/or renovating their existing homes. This is the ideal time to pay attention to a home's energy efficiency and make energy saving changes where possible. Not only can consumers save electricity and natural gas, they can also realize significant cost savings. Energy-optimizing changes may require initial investment costs, but these expenses can be amortized over the lifetime of the home and reduce heating, cooling and water costs for years to come. Education is the first step to helping homeowners navigate the choices that they make when building, buying, or remodeling.

The following six tips can help consumers on how to save energy and money with their new home.

1. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
Major home appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers contribute significantly to consumer's monthly utility bills. By purchasing high efficiency kitchen and laundry appliances, consumers can save as much as half the energy of older appliances. Consumers should look for the Energy Star certification -- a US (EPA) program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency. Durable, energy efficient products also require less maintenance and will increase the resale value of a home.

2. Comparison Shop to Find the Best Renewable Energy Plan
Consumers in deregulated energy states can select natural gas and electricity providers that offer renewable energy plans through online energy shopping sources, such as Online energy marketplaces offer consumers an easy way to shop and choose the right energy provider and the right plan for them, saving up to 25% on monthly energy bills. And, choose 100% renewable plans that cost around the same amount as conventional energy sources. For example, residents in Texas, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts combined, who chose Renewable plans in the month of March using Choose Energy helped save the equivalent of 16,343 barrels of oil.

3. Design Diligently
The first opportunity for homeowners to save energy and money is during the design and planning stages. Through space planning and intelligent design, homebuilders and contractors can implement design efficiencies that will result in optimum natural heating and cooling, reducing energy needs and ultimately expenses.

4. Install and Insulate
Homeowners should research the feasibility of installing solar panels on the home or property for efficient electrical and water heating. When remodeling, existing single pane windows should be replaced with energy efficient double pane windows with low "E" glass, and all windows and doors should be sealed. Insulating attics, walls and ceilings and caulking and sealing walls, windows, floors and doors can also decrease energy usage and costs.

5. Get Smart About Where Energy Comes From
Residents in eligible areas can sign up for smart meters and smart thermostats, to monitor energy usage. By better understanding energy consumption, consumers can program and plan for the most efficient use. Even small changes can make a difference such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.

6. Maintain
Simple maintenance such as cleaning and sealing heating and cooling ducts, replacing air filters, insulating pipes, and cleaning HVAC equipment, can greatly improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool -- wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system -- leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.

Choose Energy is an easy-to-use online energy comparison-shopping engine that helps residents and businesses shop for their optimal energy plan. Powered by an informative, easy-to-use website, and friendly customer service team, Choose Energy provides a free, convenient, and secure way for consumers to compare rates and plans for energy suppliers in their area -- and make the switch all in one place. Plans are curated from only reliable and trusted suppliers and provide renewable options as well as flexible pricing to ensure customers find the plan that best fits their needs -- shop online at or by phone at 1-855-419-8758. Choose Energy is available in 11 states currently, with additional states coming on-line in 2014.

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