Many homeowners have noticed that their electric bills have been much higher in the past few months. A major contributing reason for this can be attributed to the local utility company increasing rates. The electricity base rate, and the fuel rate, have both increased causing bills for the typical residential customer to be significantly higher in recent months.

However, even in these distressing days of inflation, there is some exciting new savings homeowners can take advantage of in 2023! The start of the new year brought the start of significant tax credits and rebates for  consumers who make energy efficiency upgrades to their home. These energy efficiency upgrades result in the direct financial benefit of lower utility bills. I think it’s safe to say that most people would jump at an opportunity to save money on their bills, especially with these increasing rates. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances is now more affordable than ever, since you will be rewarded with money back in your pocket as a result of these upgrades.

The first step toward making your home more energy efficient is to get a home energy audit by a certified building science professional. However, beware of fake energy audits! There are many companies offering to complete a home energy efficiency audit that are not legit. A real energy audit includes a 1) blower door test 2) ventilation calculations 3) A Department of Energy approved energy model 4) Audit is completed by a BPI or HERS certified professional.

Picture above shows blower door testing being performed on a home by a certified energy audit professional.

The $150 tax credit is only guaranteed if the energy audit is done by a professional conforming to these standards! Without blower door testing combined with ventilation analysis and energy model of all energy uses in a building, there is no way to be accurate about solutions or return on investment energy conservation measures.

The objective of an energy audit should be to establish current conditions, discover opportunities for energy efficiency improvements, do an energy model that predicts savings, and then prioritize these opportunities in terms of health and safety. This allows for development of a plan to present the most cost-effective ways to improve energy efficiency in your home. Building science professionals must obtain onsite quantitative and science-based diagnostics (blower door test, infrared technology, etc.) needed to accomplish making your home a healthy home and discover the best possible return-on-investment strategy for the future.

Written By: Danielle Cohan and Monica Rokicki

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