October 3, 2012
The Green Minute: How to Choose an Energy Auditor
Courtesy of Pat Byington, The Green Register Editor
The U.S. Department of Energy says every $1 invested in an energy improvement project can save up to $7 in energy costs over the lifetime of the improvement. It’s an important investment, and that is why the Alliance to Save Energy has provided a few helpful tips for homeowners seeking an energy audit.
Choosing a Professional Energy Contractor
Ready for your energy audit? Contact your utility company. Many utilities offer discounts and recommend individual energy auditors. You can also find energy auditors at the Residential Energy Services Network or the Building Performance Institute.
But before contracting with an energy auditing company, you should:
- Contact references to see if they were satisfied with the work.
- Ask the energy auditor company to make sure its professionals use a calibrated blower door.
- Ask the energy auditor company if its professionals conduct thermographic inspections or contract another company to conduct one.
Get the Most Out of Your Home Audit
Once you’ve chosen your energy auditor, ensure you get the most out of the visit by:
- Having your latest utility bills and a list of specific concerns on-hand for when the energy auditor arrives at your home.
- Telling your energy auditor about your family’s lifestyle to help tailor energy-saving recommendations to your needs and budget (such as what rooms are rarely used and when the house is empty.)
Home Energy Assessment Follow-up
Upon completing the home energy assessment, the energy auditor recommends improvements ranging from simple, low-cost solutions to full retrofits that require a big investment. Find out how long it will take for home improvements to begin “paying for themselves.” Keep in mind that while the energy auditor can make recommendations, the progress and savings rest on the changes you choose to make.
Remember, you don’t pay for energy you don’t use. By getting a thorough assessment of energy gaps in your home, you can make your home more energy efficient, lower your bills and be more comfortable.
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