Source 2: Energy Efficiency
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Source 2: Energy Efficiency

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Helping Your Older Clients Go Green—and Save

By Leah Dobkin

These days, everyone is going green. But too many older adults are still missing out on substantial savings by making their homes and apartments more energy efficient. That’s where you can help.

Many older people live in homes and rental units built prior to 1980—meaning they have no energy performance standards. It’s not unusual to see little or no insulation, single-pane windows, outdated heating and cooling systems, old appliances, incandescent lighting, and aged plumbing.

All of these can lead to energy and water waste that can literally suck money out of older peoples’ pocketbooks. Older adults with fixed incomes are particularly vulnerable to spiraling utility costs.

By going green, seniors could save up to 20% on their utility costs—freeing up money to spend on other needed goods and services.

How You Can Help

Your organization can offer and/or promote programs that help older adults make their housing more energy efficient. Here are some steps to take:

  • Tap into government programs that promote energy efficiency.
    These programs provide free energy audits, financial assistance with energy bills, direct installation of weatherization measures, and rebates for the purchase of energy-efficient products and materials. Make sure your older clients are using these programs.

  • Explore public-private partnerships. 
    In many regions, local governments, utilities, and nonprofits offer free installation of energy-saving devices and systems. Find out what’s offered in your area.

  • Look at alternative energy.
    There are a growing number of reusable energy programs and government incentives that promote solar, geothermal, wind, and biodiesel energy. The U.S. Department of Energy provides funding for these programs. See if there are any in your community.

Leah Dobkin is a freelance writer with over 30 years experience developing and managing innovative programs for older adults.  

I

want to live in a country where

older adults don't have to choose between paying for medicine or food.

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