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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Energy Efficiency Day Highlights Big Savings, Carbon Reductions

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Friday, October 5, 2018   

NEW YORK – Today is National Energy Efficiency Day, a day to take stock of the benefits for people's comfort, health, budget and the environment from maximizing energy savings.

On Earth Day last April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new energy-efficiency target to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and fight climate change. In fact, energy efficiency accounts for one-third of the state's goal for greenhouse-gas emission reductions by 2030.

Andy Frank – president and founder of Sealed, a company that helps homeowners finance energy-efficiency upgrades – believes it's a goal that can be met.

"It requires a lot of leadership from the state,” says Frank. “It requires the market to accelerate innovation, and it requires everybody working together, but I think it's absolutely possible."

He says for homeowners, one of the first steps is to schedule a virtual home-energy audit, which can be done through many utility marketplaces.

While the ultimate goal of energy efficiency is to slow climate change by reducing carbon emissions, Frank points out that people concerned about the costs of retrofitting a home are also looking at the long-term financial benefits.

"People generally save about 5 percent on their electricity usage, and about 20 to 25 percent on their heating-fuel usage,” says Frank. “For a typical house you can save anywhere between $30 and $70 per month."

Efficiency upgrades can include sealing air leaks and installing insulation. Other savings can come from replacing old appliances and switching from home heating oil to natural gas or solar power.

And Frank notes that reduced fuel consumption isn't the only benefit homeowners receive from improving energy efficiency. It also keeps homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

"The big benefits they receive are actually not related directly to energy or their energy bills, but rather, quality of life and comfort, and better living conditions overall," says Frank.

Energy efficiency is also a source of new jobs being created in New York.


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