Make your building energy-efficient first, then add renewable energy technologies, such as solar water heating or solar electricity systems. The less energy a building uses, the less equipment is required to power it.
A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.
WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTS?
A home energy audit is the first step to saving energy and money.
It helps you learn how you use energy, determine where it’s being wasted and prioritize your efficiency upgrades.
Making energy efficiency upgrades identified in a home energy audit can you save 5-30 percent on your monthly energy bill.
Professional ENERGY ASSESSMENT generally go into great detail to assess your home’s energy use. The energy auditor will do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills. Many professional energy assessments will include a blower door test. Most will also include a thermographic scan. There’s also another type of test — the PFT air infiltration measurement technique — but it is rarely offered.
Check out theEnergy Saver 101 home energy audit infographic to get an idea of what energy auditors look for and the special tools they use to determine where a home is wasting energy.
FINDING AND SELECTING AN ENERGY AUDITOR
There are several places where you can locate professional energy assessment or auditing services.
Your state or local government energy or weatherization office may help you identify a local company or organization that performs audits.
Your electric or gas utility may conduct residential energy assessments or recommend local auditors.
Your telephone directory under headings beginning with the word “Energy” may list companies that perform residential energy assessments.
Before contracting with an energy auditing company, you should take the following steps:
Get several references, and contact them all. Ask if they were satisfied with the work.
Call the Better Business Bureau and ask about any complaints against the company.
Make sure the energy auditor uses a calibrated blower door.
Make sure they do thermographic inspections or contract another company to conduct one