The Bend Energy Challenge Week, a program offered by the Environmental Center, was filled with many events to educate the public in energy efficiency and renewable energy. I was particularly interested in the two homes on the Green Home Tour that were retrofits, and I learned a lot about how small things can add up to saving energy.
Something everyone can take advantage of is the free LED bulb program, available through the Bend Energy Challenge website bendenergychallenge.org/take-action/freebulbs. They will install up to 16 LED bulbs in your home for free. They have lamp style LED bulbs and the recessed can light bulbs. They do not replace CFL bulbs, but will replace incandescent bulbs. This is a great way for everyone to save money on LED light bulbs and on energy costs. The website says LED bulbs can save up to $160 per year on energy costs and that they last about 20 years. As of September 16, they have installed over 25,000 LED lights in 1700 homes. They also have free shower heads and faucet aerators to save on hot water usage. The LED program will continue until the end of the year.
One retrofit home on the Green Home Tour was an 80 year old home. Many living in older homes are familiar with how drafty they can be. The home on the tour had a basement finished for additional living space. The retrofit consisted of adding insulation in the attic and floors and sealing of windows and doors. They also installed a new high-efficiency gas furnace with the ducts placed inside the home so that any air leakage via the ducts would stay in the house.
Many of the updates are something homeowners are capable of doing themselves. Upgrades that can make a dent include making a draft snake out of tube socks or by sewing a tube and filling it with rice, turning down your thermostats at night, air drying clothes instead of using the dryer, caulking or sealing windows and doors, to name a few. The website has many different suggestions and links to the Energy Trust, which offers links to free programs for which most residents qualify. If you do the math on just the cost of the LED bulbs and figured how much could be saved annually at $160 per year per house plus the reduction of environmental waste by not having to change bulbs annually, we would be making a nice dent in our carbon footprint.
2818 NE Sycamore St., Bend, OR 97701
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,360 square feet
.15 acre lot | Built in 1980
Listed by Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate
63091 Desert Sage St., Bend, OR 97701
3 beds, 2.50 baths, 1,749 square feet
.13 acre lot | Built in 2003
Listed by Alpine Real Estate Address: 63091 Desert Sage St, Bend, OR 97701
19333 Moon Mountain Ct., Bend, OR 97702
3 beds, 3.50 baths, 3093 square feet,
.53 acre lot | Built in 2000
Listed by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services NW Real Estate