Imagine if every company you did business with helped you save money. Somehow I don’t see a grocery store sending a consultant to your house to help you find ways to save on food costs. Insurance companies have also never gone out of their way to teach you how to lower your insurance premiums. For most businesses it is caveat emptor – let the buyer beware!
Then we have power companies. Unlike other vendors many power companies provide free or low cost home energy audits. They will send a trained associate to your home to inspect your home from top to bottom including:
- Heating, Ventilation and A/C checking the efficiency of the system and determining if you best alternative is simply maintenance or replacement
- Water heater will be checked for proper setting efficiency and insultation
- Insulation will be checked to ensure its adequate and effective
- Doors and windows will be checked for gaps
- Appliances will be checked for efficiency
- Lighting type and wattage will be inspected
- Landscaping will be checked for the opportunity help protect your home from harsh summer heat
Beyond the basics the auditor will also review your energy use patterns and may be able to suggest ways to be more efficient consumers of energy.
At the end of the audit you should expect a written report that provides you insight on your opportunities to reduce energy use including a cost/benefit analysis of the various recommendations. Many of these suggestions may be easy and inexpensive to implement. However they may also provide you with more costly suggestions like replacement of major appliances or even installation of alternative energy units like solar water heaters or photovoltaic collectors.
A number of power companies I investigated will go a step further in trying to help you take advantage of government rebates, arrange financing and even help you find qualified contractors.
Find your power company here to see if they will provide you with a no cost audit of your energy use.