Home Solutions

Top Tips for Household Energy Efficiency

  • Insulate your attic with blown-in insulation.
  • Seal and insulate your home’s walls using caulking and weather stripping.  This “easy” project will cost $3-$30 and only takes one to two hours to complete. It will also save you 5%-10% on your energy bills.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in your attic and basement using caulking
  • Upgrade your lighting with energy efficient light bulbs like LEDs or CFLs
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120°F. Lowering the temperature of your water heater can save you $12-$30 annually for each 10° reduction and decreases the risk of scalding. It only takes two hours to complete and doesn’t cost anything!
  • Wrap your water heater with a fiberglass jacket.  It is a medium difficulty level project and can save you $20-$45 annually. It only takes an hour and a half to complete and will cost about $30 overall.
  • Insulate your hot water pipes.  This reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature by 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing for a lower water temperature setting. It is rated as a medium difficulty level project, and can save $8-$12 annually. It will take about three hours to complete for a small house and costs about $10-$15 overall.
  • Change the air filters for your heating and cooling system
  • Replace old windows with new energy efficient ones or add caulking and weatherstripping, and using window treatments or coverings to existing windows

Tips provided by New Power Tour, Inc. and the Department of Energy.

Common Home Problems and Solutions

Many houses have cold floors, damp basements, drafty rooms, or ice dams that form on the roof in winter. Many of these problems can be solved in ways that also improve a home’s energy efficiency. For more information click here.

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits

Home energy audits can provide valuable information about how a home uses energy and what areas of the home could be improved to increase efficiency, save money, and make a home more comfortable. Professional energy assessments are the best way to get this information, but this “do-it-yourself” audit can provide important information and pinpoint some of the easier places to address. For more information click here.

New Power Tour, Inc.

New Power Tour, Inc., is a Keweenaw-based 501c3 that has been delivering winterizations to the area since 2008.
They are organizing the boots-on-the-ground winterizations for Houghton County residents. For more information click here.

Efficiency United

Efficiency United partners with local utilities to provide energy efficiency rebates and programs to help residents and businesses reduce their energy use and costs. Efficiency United offers services to customers of UPPCO and SEMCO ENERGY Gas CompanyFor more information click here.

Michigan Energy Options

Michigan Energy Options performs energy assessments for homeowners across our state. Professional energy specialists  make unbiased evaluations about your home energy usage and help you make the right decisions about ways to increase your home’s comfort, safety, healthiness, and energy efficiency. Specialists will inspect your home and address components related to energy efficiency such as insulation, water usage, heating and cooling, windows, doors, lighting, and appliance efficiency. Pricing for assessments start at $200.  For more information click here.

Michigan Saves

Michigan Saves offers up to $30,000 in financing to homeowners like you for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. No home appraisal or equity is required. Homeowners can choose from a list of qualified improvements such as new windows and doors, new air conditioners or furnaces, or even new appliances. Or get a home energy assessment to identify what you can do to spend less money on energy in your home. For more information click here.

Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency, Inc.

Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw (BHK) Community Action Agency, Inc. offers free home energy conservation services to low-income Michigan homeowners and renters.  Services reduce energy use and lower utility bills and typically assist with:

  • Wall Insulation
  • Attic Insulation and Ventilation
  • Foundation Insulation
  • Air Leakage Reduction
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Dryer Venting

To learn more about these services and your eligibility for assistance contact BHK Community Action Agency at: 926 Dodge St.
Houghton, Michigan 49931. Phone: (906) 482-5528. E-mail: bhkcaa@att.net

Blue Terra Energy

Energy experts from Blue Terra Energy designed a range of effective programs and strategies specifically for residents, that can generate lower utility costs and efficient energy usage:

  • Home Energy Audits
  • Air Sealing & Insulation
  • HVAC & Furnace Tune-Ups

Click here to learn more.