The problem with many, excellent green products for the home (e.g., rooftop wind turbine, solar panels) is the high initial investment and the long payback period.
There are some conservation measures that homeowners can take that cost less than $200 and realize immediate benefits:
- Lighting: CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) and LEDs (light-emitting diode bulbs) are more energy efficient that regular incandescent lamps and can significantly reduce cooling costs. CFLs (seen above) are more widespread. LED bulbs may be up to 40 times more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but use only one-fifth the energy and last up to ten times as long.
- Toilet Retrofitting: Kits which provide single flush and dual flush capabilities to tanks cost as little as $30.
- Ceiling Insulation: A major source of energy loss in a home is an uninsulated attic access door. A $200 investment in a new pulldown system can significantly lower your heating and cooling bill.