■ Learn. Turn to Energy Star for basic tips on making your home more efficient. Enter your ZIP code and other residential information to get personalized advice.
■ Measure. Conserving energy is easier with accurate, up-to-the minute information about consumption. Energy monitors measure the exact amount of energy you’re consuming at any moment, both in dollars and kilowatts. The Energy Detective (TED) monitors real-time energy use in a simple format. Models start at $140.
■ Improve. Consider renewable energy. Several tools help analyze which systems would work best for your home. For example, Roof Ray uses Google Maps to project the solar capabilities of your home’s location, the estimated cost of installation and your estimated savings, considering everything from weather patterns and home orientation to local rebate programs for alternative energy sources.