What is an Energy Audit?
A green audit is meant to identify energy saving opportunities for customers:
1) who want to reduce their utility bills
2) who are unsure which green upgrade will give the highest payback (going solar, extra insulation, replacing your windows, installing low flow toilets)
3) improve their health and comfort by reducing allergies and moisture problems while improving indoor air quality
4) save time and money by using an unbiased party to give them actual energy saving analysis and recommendations
A green audit will take place right in the comfort of your own home or apartment. An auditor will access your home’s performance by looking at the layout and orientation of the home, the thermal envelope (walls, attic and windows), air leakage, appliances and major systems and lifestyle factors to give you a comprehensive action plan designed to reduce your energy consumption.
You can expect a report outlining upgrades, estimated cost and payback periods. There are several types of energy audits and fees can vary widely from $100 to $500 per audit. The good thing is that APS and SRP are rolling out big incentives to help pay for the cost of an energy audit and fund up to 75% of the upgrades like air and duct sealing. The Home Star or Cash for Caulkers program is the federally funded home performance program that will push energy efficiency measures over the top in terms of popularity. Traditionally, energy audits were are used mostly for Energy Star, LEED and other certification purposes but not anymore.
What can an auditor do that I can't? An energy auditor will have more experience spotting air and duct leakage where as a typically homeowner will need to do a little research to find those areas where your cooled air is escaping. An auditor also probably knows some more tricks and uncommon tips to help you reduce your energy bills and will have a set of diagnostic tools to help identify areas of inefficiency. There are several websites where you can actually perform your own energy audit and is a great way to prepare for one done by a professional. Check these great resources to find out how to perform your own audit.
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