No and low cost energy conservation measures : the potential energy and economic savings from conservation among low and middle income homeowners within Delaware County, Indiana
Conservation is recognized as one important was Americans can lower their energy use and save money. The purpose of this research was to determine the energy and economic savings which 50 low and moderate income level homeowners in Delaware Count could generate by implementing nine conservation measures. The conservation measures included:1. In the winter turn down the thermostat during the day and night if the present setting is greater than 68° F.2. Reduce the hot water heater setting to 100°-120°F.3. Caulk and weatherstrip where needed.4. Insulate the hot water pipes and the furnace heat ducts.5. Install shower flow controllers.6. Insulate and weatherstrip the attic recess.7. Turn off the furnace pilot light during the summer.8. Insulate the hot water heater if in an unheated basement or garage.9. Seal the chimney in the winter when not used.The nine conservation measures were recommended by the researcher on a house-by-house basis. The researcher found that the type of heating fuel used in the home, the presence or absence of certain appliances in the home, the past involvement (if any) of the homeowner in other conservation programs, and the lifestyle practices of the household determined which of the nine conservation measures could be implemented in the home. The researcher estimated the amount of energy (BTU’s) and money which could be saved by implementing the conservation measures which were recommended for each homeowner and supplied this information to the study group.This investigation revealed that all 50 homeowners would have payback periods of less than one year if the conservation measures were implemented with short-lived material requiring annual replacement with the average savings being approximately $97.00. When longer-lived materials which would last five years or more were employed, only 27 of the homeowners would have payback periods shorter than one year unless homeowners for whom a furnace thermostat setback had been recommended did so by more than one degree Fahrenheit. The investigation revealed that when the thermostat was turned down three degrees Fahrenheit 40 homeowners would have payback periods less than one year and that 43 would have payback period of shorter than one year if a six degree Fahrenheit setback was employed.