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Not only does energy efficiency save you money and make your home more comfortable, itís nice to know you are doing your part for a better environment.

And the best part is that at EnergyCheckUp.Com weíve made it easy to figure out where your efforts will do the most good. Once youíve improved the energy efficiency of your home, you can relax knowing that your actions will continue to benefit both your budget and the planet year after year.

Few people realize how much their energy use at home impacts the environment. In fact the average home produces more than twice as much greenhouse gas pollution as the average car! If you add together the emissions produced by power plants that generate your electricity plus those from oil and gas-fired appliances - an average house is responsible for the release of 22,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this compares to a typical carís 10,000 pounds of CO2 annually.

The vast majority of scientists agree that increasing CO2 levels are contributing to global climate change. Not all of this CO2 comes from industry and transportation. In 1995, households were responsible for one-fifth of the energy consumed in the United States. A little more than half of the energy we use at home is in the form of electricity. The remainder comes from natural gas and oil. All of this CO2 takes its toll on our environment.

The worst part is that we donít even benefit from a lot of the energy we end up paying for. Unneeded lights, drafty doors and windows and under-insulated attics, walls, floors, and basements all take a bite out of the energy bill in almost every home. Even when they are turned off, many electronic appliances like TVís and VCRís still go on using energy 24 hours a day!

Studies have shown that two families living in IDENTICAL homes can have energy bills that vary by as much as 100 percent -- this means that your energy use habits can double (or halve) your energy bills. The choice is yours. So do your home a favor, and rest assured that youíre not only saving money and making yourself more comfortable, but making the planet a better place to live.

What can you do?
If youíd like to get ideas about specific steps you can take to make your own home more comfortable and energy efficient, visit our Comfort Q&A and Other Resources pages.If youíd like to have an independent home inspector come out for an on-site inspection of your home and a rating of its energy efficiency, visit our Inspection Services page. And if you already know what improvements you want make, you may want to search our database of Contractors located in your area. Finally, always be sure to look for the Energy Star label when you purchase new products for your home. For more information on the Energy Star program check out the EPA web site. And if you are in the market for a new home, visit the Energy Star Homes site.

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