Location Efficiency Saves Time, Money, and Energy
“Transportation costs are the second biggest budget item for most families.”
Save Money and Time by Locating Your Home near Your Life
Location efficiency is one of many choices you can make that will result in savings of money, time, fossil fuels, and energy. The concept is simple—you locate your home within a short distance of the places you visit most often. By living close to work, shopping destinations, friends, and favorite hot spots, you spend less on gas and auto maintenance fees, waste less time in travel, and produce fewer greenhouse gases.
According to the EPA, “buildings and transportation together account for about 70% of energy use in the United States.” In fact, former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has been quoted as saying that "the average family spends half their household budget on housing and transportation — they have become the two biggest expenditures." In Vermont, the transportation sector accounts for 37% of Vermont's total energy use.
Use the tools at the Location Efficiency Hub to find out how your location impacts your housing and transportation costs.
The Benefits of Living in an Efficient Location
When you locate your home more efficiently, you benefit emotionally, socially, financially, and in other ways. Here are just a few benefits location efficiency can offer:
- Reduced pollution
- More time to enjoy family, friends, and personal pursuits
- Lower fuel costs, particularly when fuel prices rise
- Better access to stores, schools, etc.
- Ability to walk, bike, or bus to local destinations
- Less time behind the wheel
- Reduced travel stress
It’s not easy to implement location efficiency in Vermont. Many people move to the green mountain state in order to experience the joys of location inefficiency, like private back road settings and forests that stretch on for miles. But though remote living and location efficiency don’t necessarily go hand in hand, it is possible to strike a comfortable balance.
How to Strike a Balance with Comfort and Efficiency
Striking a balance may include moving to a more urban area of Vermont or choosing to engage in activities and work that are closer to your current home. You might opt to work remotely. Alternatively, you may choose to implement energy efficiency upgrades in your home or purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle to reduce the impact that your not-so-efficient location has on the environment. Some other tactics for minimizing your impact include buying a more energy efficient home or retrofitting your current home with upgraded insulation, heating system or solar; practicing conservation; recycling; participating in a ride share; or purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
Remove the Labels and Make the Best Choice for Your Life
When it comes to location efficiency, there are no labels. Country living is not “bad,” and city living is not “good.” The point of location efficiency is to make the best possible decisions as you choose where to live. Location efficiency is simply an opportunity to see your location as a piece of the overall efficiency puzzle, one you have the power to improve.
Looking ways for save to reduce your impact and improve your savings?
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About Laurie Fielder
Laurie directs VSECU’s statewide VGreen energy savings loan program. Previously, she worked for the weatherization program at the Central Vermont Community Action Council (now Capstone), and for a successful residential solar installer. She enjoys helping Vermonters learn about efficiency and renewable financing options that maximize the savings of these smart investments. She lives in Woodbury with her family and enjoys the outdoors, walking the dog, and tackling home improvement projects.