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This is the year for you to save yourself a bundle of money and get paid for doing it. The catch, of course, is that you have to spend some money to save even more money, but this is no P.T. Barnum, sucker born every minute, scam. It’s an honest to mergatroid system to make your home more energy efficient.

My Green Toolkit explains the four step process: Get an energy audit of your home, make the changes the audit indicates, get your home reinspected, and apply for tax credits.

There will never be a better time for it, because this is the year when the federal government, as part of the stimulus package, is reimbursing citizens for making their homes more efficient.

What you do is select a company that does the audits. That will cost about $400-600. The people who do this work don’t just come in with a clipboard and tell you to use compact fluorescent bulbs. They have the equipment to show you exactly where your house is leaking heat or cool air. And you won’t necessarily have to spend, say, $10-12,000 to remediate. Lots of the changes are fairly simple. Furthermore, the auditors aren’t there to sell you new windows or whatever. They’re just in the auditing business.

Once you make the changes they suggest, they will come back and do a retest to show you how much energy you are now saving. Then you apply for the tax credits and utility rebates.

Finally, you brush your nails on your lapel and blow on them to congratulate yourself on doing the environment–and your own bottom line–some good.

The My Green Toolkit site lists energy auditing companies in St. Louis. If you live elsewhere in the state, check the Yellow Pages under Energy Management and Conservation Consultants.

By the way, the fella taking you on the house tour in the video is Jim Trout, who came within a hair of winning the Kirkwood state senate seat last November. His loss is Missouri’s loss. But Jim is, as you can see, always up to spending his time fruitfully.