Today is Earth Day! Every year we celebrate what the earth has provided us with along with raising awareness and action towards specific issues our environment is facing. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. It’s an enormous challenge but there are opportunities for positive change.

In honor of such an important mission and holiday, NorthEast Insurance Services wanted to share with you ways to not only help the planet but also your bank account every month.

It’s simple math.
Well maintained homes = less risk
Less risk = lower insurance premiums

As of 2019, the average New Jersey household spends about $74,000 on utilities and operating costs per year. That’s not including food or child care. You can understand why discounts are so important.

There are a few different types of discounts you can get by upgrading or building your home. That’s what this blog post is about!


This is where most of your costs originate from. It has the sink, dishwasher, stove, the fridge, coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc. Here’s how you can cut down costs:

  • Faucet aerator: an attachment for your faucet that looks like a mesh screen. It breaks up the flow of water into multiple small streams, adding air in between. It also reduces splashing!
  • ENERGY STAR appliances: A standard ENERGY STAR dishwasher costs $35 per year to run and could save over 3,000 gallons of water in its lifetime. ENERGY STAR products meet Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for efficiency. The EPA is a federal agency whose mission is to protect human health and the environment.


  1. Tankless water heater: Not only do they last longer than conventional ones they’re more eco-friendly because they only heat water as you need it. Plus you’re saving in your water bill as well as the environment.
  2. Low-flow shower heads : Much like a faucet aerator, this attachment is cheap and helps you save your water bill. make sure you pick one with a WaterSense-label as this indicates that it meets EPA standards for efficiency.
  3. Low-flow toilets: Just as I stated before, they do the same thing as a faucet aerator. They reduce water usage and save you money. An older toilet uses up to 6 gallons of water for every flush while a low-flow toilet only uses 1.28 gallons per flush.
  4. Leaks: Fix them. Not only will you save money each month on your water bill but fixing them will prove to your insurer that your home is maintained. As shown by the simple math equation I mentioned earlier, this makes less risk therefore lower insurance premiums.


While your bedroom isn’t filled with many appliances there are green fixes that you can make towards air flow and window insulation.

  • Plants: It may seem odd and you may think that plants are merely for decoration, however they are nature’s air purifier. Not to mention They also lower the temperature of the room which means you won’t have to constantly be running the air conditioner.
  • Energy efficient ceiling fans: they use less energy than an air conditioner. Fun fact: run the fan counterclockwise to suck up cooler air instead of pushing down hot air.
  • Replace air filters and clean out your air duct. Dust and dirt that’s built up reduces the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.\


  • LED lights: If they’re ENERGY STAR rated, they use 75% less energy than standard lighting and they last longer.
  • Smart thermostat: This tech helps reduce energy usage and can save you 10 to 12% on your heating bill. Depending on your location, you can even get a rebate If you agree not to heat or cool your home during Peak Energy hours.

This next one is pretty obvious…

  • Unplug: If you’re not using it then unplug it. Even an unused device can up your electricity bill by 10%.

While every home is different there are still opportunities in every space.

  • Solar panels: This is talked about very frequently. At first glance you would think solar panels, a renewable energy source, are very expensive. This isn’t true. Not only is it affordable but you can get a percentage of the material and installation cost back as a tax credit. Essentially the government wants you to go green as well as your bank account.
  • Weather stripping and window caulking: Both will seal off nooks and crannies on your house which will save you on heating and cooling costs.
  • Native Landscaping: plants that are already adapted to their environment are considered native plants, they require less water and upkeep.

Whether you’re upgrading or building a brand new house it’s important to think about the materials that you’re using. Not only will you save money in the long run but you can also feel good about your carbon footprint.

  • Insulation: This is already meant to save your energy costs so naturally it’s green. However be sure to pick a type of insulation that doesn’t require the most energy to produce. Consider looking into cellulose insulation which is around the same price as fiberglass but requires less energy to produce.
  • Painting: Many paints and stains contain compounds that take weeks to evaporate and are linked to a variety of health issues. They pollute the air so look for paints labeled “low-VOC”. These paints have met the EPA’s standards for safe levels.
  • Windows: ENERGY STAR products are the go-to here. While it may be costly to replace existing windows with a greener equivalent, they can save you money every month on your utility bills. Much like insulation, they can ensure that your house is as warm or cool as you need it to be.

In insurance there are a handful of discounts available. By using ENERGY STAR appliances your homeowners insurance policy may include a discount. If you’re remodeling or updating your home contact your insurance company before to see what materials or products allow for discounted rates.

In fact did you know that there is such a thing as green homeowners insurance. This type of policy covers rebuilding a damaged home to green standards and they are certified as meeting climate and zone specific construction standards for energy. Much like other homeowner insurance policies, they do have a cap of covered costs. Generally they cover the cost of environmental friendly materials and low impact processes, as well as energy efficient replacement products or materials. This could be anything from windows, appliances, or plumbing fixtures.

Smart devices also could qualify you for homeowner insurance discounts. Aside from smart thermostats some examples are:

  • Wireless security systems and video doorbells: lowers risk of home invasion and burglary
  • Smart smoke detectors: lowers the risk of fire and any related damage
  • Water and Gas shut off sensors: lowers risk of leaks or flooding

Watch the video above for a list of DIY projects that could save you money in your insurance premiums!

Using sustainable, non-toxic materials and energy efficient appliances doesn’t just reduce waste, it can lower your household bills like water and electricity. Whether you’re building a new house or upgrading a current one, ensure that you are not paying any unnecessary costs. Check with your insurance company or independent agent to see what discounts are offered. Every location is different, however, we all live on the same planet and we all have a chance to make it a cleaner place to live.

Here at NorthEast Insurance Services, we’re more than insurance. We protect what means the most to you and we’ve built our business on connecting with our clients. Choosing an agent to whom you will entrust the future of your home, valuables, business and even your family should be more than just an internet search away. If this is what you are looking for in an insurance agent, then you’ve come to the right place. Don’t wait another minute and contact us today at (732) 972-1771 or Toll Free at (800) 290-8120. Visit our Contact Us page for more information!