increase energy efficiency in either of those areas? Most states or utility companies offer an in-home energy audit that will evaluate opportunities for efficiency improvements. Perhaps the building envelope’s in- sulation requires a refresh or change out, or maybe get a tune up on the HVAC system, or wrap your water heater or install a low cost hot water circulation pump to prevent wasting water while waiting for it to get hot, or buy compact fluorescent lights or LED’s? While it may not seem like much, just remember that 55 percent of energy use is individual household electricity. And being a good steward of the environment embraces the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” HELPFULRESOURCES The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website (DSIRE) - ings/dsire-page from the US Depart- ment of Energy, is a comprehensive resource) to identify possible incen - tives and programs that may help to reduce total installed costs if energy efficient equipment is selected. It’s a handy reference that utilizes a zip

code lookup to provide a curated list of programs. (I’ve used it myself recently for some home renovation plans.) It’s not a be-all end-all to identify if your specific situation qualifies for any of the programs. However, it’s a good starting point though it requires a fair amount of sifting through the information to select what may help you. Don’t necessarily replace some- thing that still works, just ensure it’s working as efficiently as it can, until it requires replacement. Most often, the direct replacement economics don’t stand on their own without an extended payoff period, or some sort of incentive or rebate program. If you’re going to replace something that still works, consider the other saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If you post it for free online, it may even surprise you at what people are willing to take off your hands (and it saves you a trip to the dump.)

interests of homeowners, housing providers, and renters as an aid to identify opportunities for the kinds of improvements that have been mentioned here. Healthier living, improved safety, and an ability to guard against possible risks of property loss and damage are ways to utilize technology as a means for sustainability. •

BrianWojcik is a housing industry advocate who transitioned into real estate, both as an investor and property manager, after more than two decades

of experience in engineering, sales, executive management, and operational/business process reengineering consulting. He resides in Howard County, MD, where he volunteers to teach a “Tenant Success” program he created for Bridges to Housing Stability, and where he created Landlord411 to assist rental housing providers. His expertise of the independently owned rental-housing market has been sought after for local and state level legislation/policy development. Mr. Wojcik has been published in national publications about legislative issues, affordable housing matters, and rental housing advocacy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Manufacturing Management from Clarkson University and a Master of Science degree in Real Estate from The Johns Hopkins University. He is founder of

SUSTAINABILITYAND TECHNOLOGY In the coming months, we’ll ex- plore how technology can serve the

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