You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. With a simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When auditing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.
Via Lifehacker, the Department of Energy is offering tips on increasing your energy efficiency at home. This is especially pertinent to me after getting a $174 electric bill from Pepco. Our house was profiled in the local DC paper not long after the condo conversion, and the writer gushed about the environmentally friendly principles of the condos. Aside from meaningless EnergyStar certifications (Nearly everything meets the requirements these days - there is talk of making them stricter) and pretty good natural lighting, there is very little about our place that is environmentally friendly. Sometimes I wish we had thought more about that when we were buying, but we really fell in love with the place, and it wasn’t until after we moved in that I really thought about it.
Anyway, I think our electric bill is high because Pepco is not actually reading our meter. They are doing estimated meter readings, and I think they are way off. I think they are doing a real reading at the end of this month, so I don’t really expect to pay anything for electricity for a month or two. I went and looked at the six meters - one for each condo, one for common areas - and ours was turning much, much more slowly than any but the common areas. We don’t run the air as much as we might, and we set it higher than many people would, so I think we use a relatively small amount.
I do actually have a point here, and that is that you should check your house for wasted energy. You could probably save money on your electric bill, and you could probably help lower greenhouse gas emissions and all sorts of things that are generally good for the planet. And you can probably do all this without any lifestyle changes or great expense.