Upgrade appliances and lighting
When shopping for appliances, electronics, and lighting, always look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency that helps us all save money and protect the environment. ENERGY STAR products meet the strictest energy efficiency requirements. Learn more about ENERGY STAR-qualified products at www.energystar.gov. See the Home Energy Guide (pages 52-64) for more on appliances, lighting, and electronics.
Maintain heating and cooling systems
Heating and cooling account for a little more than half of the energy used in a typical Minnesota home, the largest energy expense for most homes. Your heating and cooling systems should be inspected annually and maintained. Replace filters regularly and seal your heating and cooling ducts. Consider replacing your furnace or boiler, for instance, if it’s nearing the end of its expected life (15-20 years for furnaces, 20-30 for boilers), it requires expensive repairs, or it is inefficient. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for heating and air-conditioning systems. Read more on heating, cooling and ventilation in the Home Energy Guide (pages 26-45).
Consider renewable energy for your home
Once you have completed many of the basic energy-saving measures to ensure the efficiency of your home, you might consider a renewable energy system such as a solar photovoltaic system to help power your home. By investing in energy efficiency and energy conservation up front, you can lessen your energy demand, which will reduce the size of the investment needed for your renewable energy system and optimize the returns on your system. Commerce can help determine if your home is right for renewables. Considering solar, then read "A little guidance for going solar”
To help pay for it all
You may be eligible for incentives to help pay for or finance your energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, a comprehensive source of incentives that includes utility rebate, grant and loan opportunities; federal tax credits; federal grant and loan programs; state incentives and loan programs; and more.