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It Takes A Community

Climate Action
It takes a Community

ENERGY 

Energy use in buildings (home heating and electricity combined) make up the second-largest source of Philipstown’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)

FACT

More than half of energy use in homes is for heating and air conditioning. U.S. households need energy to power numerous home devices and equipment, but on average, more than half (51% in 2015) of a household’s annual energy consumption is for just two energy end uses: space heating and air conditioning. Source: EIA U.S. Energy Information Administration

  1. Change how you use energy

  2. Choose electricity that comes from 100% renewable sources

  3. Maximize energy efficiency

  4. Replace fossil-fuel based heating and cooling with electrical systems (heat pumps)

Here's how to make your buildings "smart"

1. CHANGE HOW YOU USE ENERGY

Use less energy by buying and using more energy-efficient appliances and turning things off when you're not using them.

  • Turn off plugged-in devices when you don’t need them such as computers, lights and stereo systems; use power strips to turn off multiple devices at once..

  • Buy the most energy-efficient (Energy Star certified), newest technology appliances and devices.

  • Use fans to help your heating and cooling systems work more efficiently, including whole house fans, attic fans, room fans, personal fans. Open windows in spring and fall to moderate the temperature in your home.

  • Minimize or eliminate the use of hot water when you can (you can use cold water in your washing machine and get your clothes just as clean while using half the energy).

    • ​Consider line-drying clothes or buying a ventless, heat pump dryer, which uses half the energy of a standard, vent-connected dryer.

2. CHOOSE ELECTRICITY FROM A 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE

The way electricity is generated and procured determines how much greenhouse gas emissions that are attributed to the electricity we consume in Philipstown.

There are many options these days to make sure your electricity is coming from renewables. The biggest money saver is to install solar on your home, business or organization. There are federal and state incentives to help offset the cost of installation.

Thinking of going solar at home? Consider these five tips.

  1. Solar panels work best when installed on a sunny south-facing roof with little to no shade.

  2. Get a quote from at least two installers.

  3. Find a list of contractors on the NYSERDA website.

  4. Know your payment options. There are three popular ways to pay for solar for your home: leasing, power purchase agreements, and loans.

  5. Consider installing a powerwall with your solar. Now you have a backup generator.

 

You can also go solar without installing solar panels on your roof or property. Everyone who pays their own electric bill, including renters and co-op/condo owners, can participate in community solar.  Join a Community Solar Program. These programs often guarantee a savings of 10 percent on your monthly bill.

3. MAXIMIZE YOUR BUILDING'S ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Making your home or office more energy efficient means using less energy overall.

That means fewer GHG emissions regardless of the energy source. The best starting point for improving energy efficiency is an energy audit performed by certified professionals.The audit will test your home to find leaks--places where warm air escapes from your home in the winter and cool air escapes in the summer--and other ways your home is wasting energy

 

Energy audits are free, and often come with an estimate for how much upgrades to improve efficiency will cost, as well as how long it will take for you to recover the cost through resulting energy savings. There are two valuable, free resources available to help set up an energy audit:

4. REPLACE YOUR HVAC SYSTEMS WITH HEAT PUMPS

Replace your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems with heat pumps .

Air source heat pumps, also known as mini-split or ductless systems, are two to four times more energy efficient than other heating systems, and can save hundreds of dollars a year on heating and cooling bills (over $900 per year on average if they are replacing heating oil systems). And since they are powered by electricity, air source heat pumps installed in Philipstown generate zero GHGs! 

 

In addition to their low-to-no-carbon emissions and potential cost savings, air source heat pumps come with other benefits:

  • They are flexible: they come in many different sizes and configurations, giving you lots of options for where and how to install them

  • They can replace or supplement other HVAC systems

  • Buying air source heat pumps could make you eligible for rebates and discounts from utility and government programs like

    • Equipment tax credits from EnergyStar

    • Rebates from Central Hudson

 

A good place to get started on researching and planning your heat pump installations is the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP).

It’s time to take action! For more information and advice on how to manage your energy, contact Climate Smart Philipstown’s Energy Committee: climatesmartphilipstown.org  csphilipstown@gmail.com