Lowering our energy expenses is a far bigger priority for most of us than getting the newest iPhone or iPad – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.  A survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research asked people to rank their energy usage priorities and the challenges to changing those usage patterns.

The headlines?  We know that simple things like thermostat setbacks have big results, but that doesn’t mean we do them.  Even more complicated improvements – like air sealing and insulating – strike most of us as easy or only moderately difficult, but only 10% of us are doing them.

What’s holding us back?

Money:  Energy efficiency requires an initial investment.  Whether it’s the price of a longer-lasting CFL or LED light bulb or of encapsulating your basement, there’s no getting around the fact that you have to spend money to save money.  Luckily, there are plenty of financing options that help offset that original investment.  Efficiency Maine offers two long-term, low-interest loan programs to help homeowners cut energy use for good.  And remember: invest once and your savings will grow every year, especially as energy prices rise.

Inertia:  Doing nothing is always easier than doing something.  Don’t trust yourself to overcome inertia on your own?  Try enlisting the kids.  Team Energy Star has a kid-friendly, Lorax-inspired set of activities and tips to help make energy efficiency a family affair.  Sure, turning off the lights when you leave the room won’t save as much energy as retrofitting your home, but if it gets the ball rolling, it’s a good thing.

Confusion:  Don’t know where to start?  You’re not alone.  Schedule a free consult with one of Evergreen’s BPI-certified Energy Advisors to find out how you can gain comfort and cut costs with energy efficiency improvements that pay for themselves.