In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
When you think of the ideal home, it conjures images of comfort—a safe haven you can come back to at the end of each day. And yet, statistically, the home can be a dangerous place. A study by the National Center for Healthy Housing found that 35 million American homes contained at least one health or safety hazard. That’s two out of every five homes with factors contributing to illness, injury, and even death.
After many years of renting small apartments, my wife and I decided to take the plunge and buy our first house. As any new homeowners would, we have been nervously, excitedly, painting walls and undertaking little projects to make our home perfect for us, but the first big project now looms on the horizon—the heating system.
My wife and I are new homeowners and in preparing for winter, we've begun the yearly process of budgeting for our heating bill. In auditing how our house deals with heating over the past few chilly weeknights, we realized we wanted a better way to control the heat, while also saving on fuel oil!
Home energy efficiency projects offer many benefits, including health and safety, comfort, structural durability, and energy savings. The money you save by making energy efficiency upgrades can help cover the costs of financing the improvements, making these a great investment from day one. To sweeten the deal, there are multiple programs, rebates, and discounts designed to make energy efficiency possible for people of most income levels. Here are some of the biggies:
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According to AAA, the average cost of car ownership is roughly $8,000 per year. Fuel and repair costs are increasing, and transportation is often the largest household budget item for a Vermont family when factoring in car payment, insurance, repairs, and fuel.
Small businesses come in a variety of sizes and types in Vermont. So, it is no wonder that there is no “one-size fits all” solution for energy savings when it comes to how Vermonters make a living. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “over half of the U.S. workforce either owns or works for a small business.” It’s clear that small businesses, like yours, power our economy. And your business needs power to keep the lights on, to heat and cool, and more. And, chances are you are paying for more energy than you need to get the job done.
Extreme weather events are causing increasing numbers of power outages, and power outages can impact your life and your livelihood—maybe you have to throw out a freezer full of spoiled food, or you are cut off from loved ones during a storm, or can’t shower before work. It’s important to have energy alternatives that can help you meet your essential needs and keep your home habitable, maybe for an extended period, during power outages. Most people say water, food, warmth, and communication rank as essential needs. To help meet those needs, people are increasingly looking for new uses of solar energy that can help them protect their homes during outages. Here’s why.
Living in the Northeast when the seasons are changing can prove costly if your home is not energy efficient. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a heat pump, furnace repair or replacement, a pellet stove, air sealing, insulation, ventilation, or roof repair or replacement just to name a few. The list of potential fall weatherization and energy efficiency projects is often big, and finding funds necessary to pay for such efforts may be just enough to make some people think it’s simply not affordable for them.