Residence power audits assist owners lower your expenses

For anyone looking to save money on household expenses, a home energy audit could be a good place to start. Energy audits examine a home’s total energy consumption and identify areas of inefficiency or potential health problems. An audit also includes recommendations for cost-effective solutions to any problems.

“The purpose of an energy audit is to reduce energy costs,” said Andy Meyer, senior program manager, Efficiency Maine. “It gives you rest and a plan.”

Efficiency Maine is a quasi-government agency run by a board of trustees and overseen by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. It manages independent energy programs in the state to cut costs and reduce environmental impact.

What does an energy audit include?

The culprits of wasting energy in a home aren’t always obvious, Meyer said. Something as innocent as the ceiling lamp for a hanging light can actually release heat.

According to Meyer, an energy auditor will inspect your house from the attic to the basement inside and outside for areas where electricity, heating oil, propane, pellets or even firewood are being wasted. At the same time, the examiner looks for possible health risks such as insufficient air exchange, carbon monoxide, water damage, mold or asbestos.

“An audit will reveal ways you can save money and be safer in your home,” said Meyer. “Having one can be a good, cost-effective investment in your home.”

Energy auditors use special fans in doors that can be used to measure how much air – that is, heat or cooling – is leaving a house. With an infrared camera, you can see exactly where these leaks are. You can also measure the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.

As soon as an audit is completed, the inspector will send you a report identifying the problem areas in your house and recommending solutions. These solutions, Meyer said, are often much simpler and cheaper than homeowners fear.

“Many people think that replacing windows is the best way to save heat in the home, but the payback for it can be decades in some cases,” he said. “What people don’t think is ‘airtight’, which is just boring when you’re sealing windows that can pay for themselves in a year.”

DIY energy audit

Before, or instead of, using an energy auditor, a homeowner can take steps to determine where electricity or heat is being wasted. A good place to start is to look for so-called phantom loads. These are devices or devices that continue to use power even when inactive, e.g. B. sleeping computers.

“We’ve put electric monitors in every library in the state that people can check out for free,” Meyer said. “So you can test things for yourself.”

In addition to identifying the phantom load, the monitors can also measure the effectiveness of large household appliances.

Other DIY energy audit tools include online calculators that can help you find out how much money you can save by switching to LED lightbulbs, whether it’s worth buying a different water heater, and whether your home is using more or less energy than one well winterized house of the same size.

According to Meyer, these calculators and a list of independent auditors can be found on the Efficiency Maine website. These inspectors, he said, are not paid by Efficiency Maine, but rather screened to make sure they are licensed, certified, and reliable.

The costs

A full Maine energy audit can cost up to $ 600, but there is financial assistance available for those who need it.

“One of the tough things about saving money by saving energy is having the money to pay for what you have to do,” Meyer said.

Therefore, the program offers eligible Maine homeowners low-interest loans and discounts.

Even if Meyer pays the full $ 600 for an audit, it can be worth it.

“A professional audit takes six hours,” he said. “In those six hours, you may find ways to save 69 gallons of heating oil a year. This is where your investment pays off, making it the closest thing to a free lunch.”

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