I have friend – let's just call him Bill – who comes to me every month with concerns about his energy bill. Now, I like Bill, he's a good friend, but sometimes he can become a bit frustrated when it comes to home improvement. (I've had to help him out with a number of projects that, shall we say, became unnecessarily complex).
Bill is a good example of what a recent Harris Interactive poll found about homeowners in general. For example, like many Americans in the study, Bill turns off his TV when he's not using it, replaced his old light bulbs with more energy efficient ones and upgraded a few appliances to newer, more environmentally friendly models. (The study found that Bill is like more than half of all Americans when it comes to performing these energy-saving actions).
But, despite all his work, Bill can't figure out how I'm able to always save more energy than him. My token response is that it's because he doesn't want to take the truly big steps when it comes to improving his home's energy use. (Despite my claim that I use a more efficient manual thermostat, have windows that save energy and routinely conduct audits, he'd still rather blame these problems on his home's original builders).
And it seems many Americans may be getting the same results as Bill. For example, the study noted that only 37 percent have installed a programmable thermostat. Similarly, 34 percent have upgraded their wiring or installed low-flow faucets – some of the changes that I've made, though I prefer a manual thermostat.
Now, I could tell Bill the results of this survey, but he probably wouldn't listen. But, you can take note of the results. In order to achieve big energy savings, sometimes it takes investment, as sometimes the little things just aren't enough.