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The 40th anniversary of Earth Day is April 22. In conjunction with Earth Day, Cooperative Extension has launched a new Home Energy Web site as part of the eXtension system to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, comfortable and healthy.

The Home Energy eXtension site provides information from more than 70 land-grant universities. It is one of many resource areas within eXtension, an educational program of the Cooperative Extension System.

"The goal of the Home Energy site is to help homeowners make informed decisions based upon objective, research based information," says Laura Booth, administrator, outreach programs with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The home energy resource area offers information focused on existing homes, new homes and alternative energy systems. Some of the site's features include the following:

  • Frequently Asked Questions – Experts have answers for more than 140 frequently asked questions, providing information on topics such as weatherizing how-tos, choosing efficient home appliances, types of energy-saving building materials and much more.
  • Fact Sheets – The fact sheets include greater depth of information on heating and cooling systems, appliances, building systems and materials, maintenance, landscaping and more.
  • Ask an Expert -- You can ask experts an individual question.

The interactive capability connects homeonwers and renters with experts. They can search the frequently asked questions or ask individual questions to get answers from university experts.

The energy efficient new homes and existing homes sections of the site provide guidance for a high-performance home with its many benefits and good return on investments. It's possible and practical to have more comfort, durability and high energy efficiency with better indoor air quality without increasing monthly housing costs.

The alternative energy section of the Home Energy eXtension site gives basic information to make decisions about wind and solar systems and explains how to integrate these technologies into your home.

Extension housing and environment specialists and educators from across the nation compiled the information.

The eXtension site is customized with links to state Cooperative Extension services. You can find the link to eXtension in Alabama at http://www.aces.edu/ Funding for the home energy content development was made possible through a voluntary assessment by Cooperative Extension directors and administrators, funding from the federal government through USDA/NIFA, and Battelle Institute/U.S. Department of Energy.