Columbia Man Becomes Energy Efficiency Star

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COLUMBIA - One Columbia man is making his house greener, literally and figuratively.

Hoyt DeVane slapped olive green paint onto his home Monday morning. Houses he saw in Italy inspired the yellow and green color scheme. The green paint also reflects his efforts to maximize the efficiency of his house.

"We've done just about everything else to make our house energy efficient," DeVane said with a smile.

Using Columbia's House Performance with Energy Star program, DeVane added new windows and insulation to complement his solar panels and ground source heating. The city offers incentives for Columbia Water and Light customers who remodel their homes to be more efficient. After having the house assessed and redone, customers can earn up to a $1,200 rebate for home improvements. Adding insulation in particular is recommended because of the immediate benefits.

"Your bills, as far as electric bills, furnace bills, stay a lot lower as your house becomes more efficient," Jake Bowman said, who installed the windows and insulation.

According to Bowman, insulation is the best way to save energy at home. Fall is also a good time supplement existing insulation, instead of waiting for heating bills to rise when the temperatures drop.

"It's usually towards the middle to the end of winter when people start realizing their bills are a little higher and then they want to make sure their house is insulated right," Bowman added.

"It's the insulation that matters the most. New windows don't make a dramatic difference," DeVane said. "Good windows are expensive and the payback isn't terrific. It takes a long time to pay for these energy efficient windows."

Despite the start up costs, DeVane expects the windows and insulation combined to pay for themselves in four years.

For more information on the Home Performance with Energy Star, visit the city's website or call at (573) 874-7325.