The Division of Energy Resources in the Minnesota Department of Commerce has created a consumer Energy Guide series, designed to help you figure out what steps you can take to reduce the energy use in your home. Although you might not be willing or able to do all of the improvements yourself, these guides will educate you about the basic processes so that you can ask the right questions—and get the best results—from those that you might hire. Consisting of three booklets available in print versions or on our website, the consumer Energy Guides cover these home energy topics:
The Home Envelope guide describes the basic components of a house that separate the outdoors from the indoors. It contains ways to reduce energy use with insulation, air-sealing, windows, and doors. Information is included on how to assess the current operation of your home through an energy assessment and how to begin the process of tightening your home to curtail energy consumption.
A significant portion of home energy use is for all of the common things that make our lives easier and safer. The Appliances, Lighting, Electronics guide discusses options for reducing energy consumption of these devices by changing when and how we use them. Additionally, there is information on what to consider when you are repairing or replacing these items.
Once the envelope of the house is sufficiently tight, the next step is to maintain and upgrade the mechanical systems of the building. Heating, air-conditioning, water heating, and ventilation systems use the most energy in our homes, so they deserve special attention. The Heating, Cooling, Ventilation guide describes the various types of systems and equipment available to operate your home. The guide also offers suggestions on maintenance, repair, and replacement decisions.