Tomorrow, April 22, will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. These days everyone seems to be thinking more “green” and homeowners and those looking to buy are no different. Homes that are more energy efficient not only help the environment and are healthier to live in, but can also mean more money in your pocket through increased tax credits and savings on energy costs.

More REALTORS® are becoming advocates for the benefits of “green” housing. And a growing number are even earning a Green Designation to better help buyers and sellers who care about energy efficiency and environmentally sound building practices.

There are many ways you can save money and conserve Mother Earth’s precious resources by using energy more efficiently. Here are a few tips from the Energy Education Council:

  1. Switch to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) which use 1/4 the energy of a traditional light bulb. If every American home replaced just one 100 watt incandescent bulb with a 23 watt Energy Star CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes. That would prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of about 800,000 cars.
  2. Rely on a programmable thermostat to mind your business and save up to 10% of your energy cost in a year by setting it to automatically raise or lower the temperature at night and during the day when no one is around.
  3. Energy Star appliances, electronics, and lighting equipment can reduce your utility bills by 30%. If you purchase an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for your home, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500. Get details and learn about other tax credits for energy efficiency at

You can find five more tips from the Energy Education Council (pdf).

Illinois ENERGY STAR appliance rebate sale runs through April 25. Link here for details (pdf).