Going Green is great, but I wonder how fast the savings in energy costs overtakes the purchase and installation costs? So, I sat down with my calculator and my favorite website and worked it out how long it would take for changes made today, NEW YEARS 2010, to start paying for themselves. (Computed for a family of 5 in a little house like mine.)
1. New sink aerators can pay for themselves by March 1.
2. Air drying laundry (buying a drying rack and new line) pays for itself by Spring break.
3. New low-flow shower heads pay for themselves before Independence day.
4. By Christmas…
- programmable thermostat
- insulating the pipes
- insulating the hot water heater
- changing all outdoor lights to CFLs
5. Shortly after New Years 2011, changing all your indoor lights to CFLs will pay for themselves.
Things that pay for themselves before New Years 2013:
- replacing a DEAD fridge with an Energy Star efficiency version.
- replacing a DEAD commode with a dual flush model.
- replacing a working car with a hybrid.
Things that would pay for themselves before I hit menopause (2015-2020):
- Solar H2O heater
- Energy Star H2O heater
- replacing working toilets with dual flush
- planting shade trees
Things that pay before I get run over by a flying car (2030-2040):
- replacing a working air conditioner with an Energy Star
- tankless water heater
- replacing a working fridge with an Energy Star
- replacing a working dishwasher with an Energy Star
- replacing a DEAD washer with an HE
- replacing a DEAD chest freezer with an Energy Star
Things that will pay about the time I’m arguing with my kids about nursing homes (2050-2060)
- installing a whole house fan
- replacing a working washer with an HE
Things that will pay for themselves when Williard Scott’s robot is announcing me 104 years young! (2080)
- replacing a working chest freezer with an Energy Star
- installing skylights
- gray water system
- solar panels