A recent Wallethub article—”Most & Least Energy-Efficient States“—reports that Indiana ranked 30th out of 48 states when it comes to auto- and home energy consumption. As the Hoosier State falls among the least energy efficient states in the country, individuals can take steps to improve energy efficiency in their own homes. SPEA assistant professor Cali Curley says there are steps homeowners can take to help save the planet and save themselves money at the same time. Curley weighed in on three key questions during the article:
Q: What energy efficient products for the home offer the best ROI?
A: “Each home is different and faces a variety of reasons for energy loss. While statistics can speak to average estimates regarding return on investment, an in-home energy auditor could likely evaluate that on an individual basis and provide a tailored plan to bolster ROI for homeowners.”
Q: What is the biggest mistake consumers make when trying to make their homes more energy efficient?
A: “The ‘rebound effect’ suggests that despite making energy-efficient decisions, consumers wind up increasing their energy consumption after experiencing decreased utility bills. This is often explained through behavioral change—changing thermostat settings for increased comfort—or the purchasing of new appliances that also consume energy.”
Q: Should the government continue to incentivize consumers and businesses to invest in energy-efficient projects?
A: “In cases where a customer is serviced by an Investor Owned Utility, I would argue that this is a values question and should be handled and determined at the polls. However, for Municipally Owned Utilities (MOU), the conversation is a little bit different. While it can still be a values question, it has also become an operational question related to defraying costs of increased generation requirements. MOUs can be viewed as an operating arm of a local government, which means that local government has to be responsible for business decisions–including those about placing new generating capacity. If policies for energy-efficiency cost-effectively defer the need for large-scale capital investments that might place an unfair, inequitable burden on citizens then perhaps those are policies worth maintaining.”
You can read the full article at this link.