How to keep your home energy efficient

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- With winter weather just around the corner, now may be a good time to assess energy use within your home.

“The more time and effort you spend in saving the energy you use, the less money that you’ll need to invest in renewable energy technologies like solar energy,” says Jenny Brinker, an Energy Management instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

It’s simple changes that can result in higher energy efficiency, and lower monthly bills.

“The basics, like turning off lights that don’t need to be on. Maybe turning off water when you’re brushing your teeth, shaving. All the really simple things,” says Nick Jarolimek, an Energy Management student at NWTC.

That’s things like switching out incandescent lights for LED ones, turning down the thermostat when you’re out of the house, or keeping out drafts by adding more insulation to your attic and sealing the attic doors.

Before all this – experts say it’s a good idea to get an energy audit.

“An energy audit just prioritizes for you those things you know you probably should do, but gives you some money, dollar savings to use to help you make those decisions,” Brinker says.

After making investments in energy-efficient updates, you may be eligible or tax incentives, or money back from state programs.

“Another benefit to saving energy is you're also saving greenhouse gas emissions,” Brinker says. “You're saving your pocket book, and you're helping saving your resources that we use in order to get that energy to our homes.”

When making updates, make sure to purchase Energy Star products. Those appliances use 20 to 30 percent less energy than normal products use.