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The Energy Challenge Guide to Audits

3 June 2009

The Minnesota Energy Challenge provides a lot of great information, including all the first-tier, low-and-no cost actions that are quick, easy and cheap for families to do in their homes.  When you’re looking to take the next step, however, what to do?  Energy audits are a great way to diagnose larger energy issues in a home and get some solid feedback on how to save.  However, they can also be really confusing!  Here’s a quick Energy Challenge Guide to Audits to help you navigate this useful diagnostic tool.

(1)  What is an energy audit? I know, the word “audit” doesn’t have the greatest connotations.  A home energy audit is nothing to be afraid of!  It’s just a great way for a professional to be able to run some basic diagnostics on your home to see how it is using energy and what are your most cost-effective opportunities to save.  There’s no judgment involved – the professional auditors who come to your home have been in a lot of homes and are intimately familiar with the issues you are facing.  They are there to help!

(2) How can I get one? Your gas or electric utility probably provides a basic energy audit at a severely discounted price, so they are the best place to start.  For example, Xcel Energy offers a comprehensive home energy audit worth $150 for just $35 for their customers!

(3) What will they do in the audit? Your auditor will examine the outside and inside of your house to see any visible signs of energy issues.  They will also probably perform a blower-door test where they set up a fun big fan in your front door to measure the air flow in and out of your house.  Your auditor will probably want to look in your attic, poke around your furnace, boiler and air conditioner and ask you some questions about your comfort. Their goal is to give you easy to follow recommendations to improve the health of your home – the indoor air quality, safety and energy use.  Don’t be afraid to ask your auditor questions about what they are doing.

(4) What do I do after I get my report? One you get your report, take action! It is common to feel overwhelmed or paralyzed by the amount of information or the recommendations that you will get through a home energy audit.  Don’t worry, you’re not expected to do everything at once.  Obviously, if they find any indoor air quality or safety issues, those should be addressed first.  As for beyond that, don’t forget the awesome tax credits!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 5 June 2009 5:37 am

    Love energy auditor info…thanks for the info_Green Earl

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