Looking for new ways to save energy around your house? Try talking to your neighbors. Chances are your neighbors' homes were all built around the same time as your house, and probably constructed with the same materials and similar appliances. Your homes probably all started on equal footing, but what has everyone done since then? What worked and what didn't? What contractors would they recommend? What energy-saving appliances have the Jonses down the street installed that you just *have* to have?
Once you've compared notes, take it a step further. Challenge your neighbors to see who can cut their energy costs the most next month. Don't look at price, which can fluctuate, but by total usage, which you'll see on your bills listed as KWH (kilowatt hours).
At the end of the month, tally up the results. Who cut their usage by the most kwh, and who had the greatest percentage drop? What worked and what didn't? Can anyone's ideas be replicated in other homes?
So how do you incentivize this? You can all put in $10, with the pot going to the winning household. Or you could make the losing family throw an eco-friendly party for all the kids in the neighborhood.
Give it a shot, and make your community a green one!