The $99 in-home energy audit (Arizona Home Performance with Energy Star), funded by APS is well underway in the valley. This guide will shed some light on aspects of the program that homeowners should be aware of if they are even thinking about having an APS energy audit done on their.
Rebates include 75% off the cost of air sealing, duct sealing, insulation and shade screens up to $250. An important issue to be aware of is that the duct sealing rebate is per unit, so you can receive the sealing rebate multiple times if you have more than one furnace or AC unit. Air sealing on the other hand, is only a one-time rebate regardless of the size of the home. The rebates are submitted after the post test is complete and take about 6 weeks to come back to you in the mail.
The APS energy audit is a very well-put-together program. APS has built-in a quality assurance for all homeowners participating in the program. That quality assurance comes in several forms. To qualify for the rebates an APS Home Performance with Energy Star Certified Contractor must perform the work. This ensures that the contractor has been trained and certified in building performance and uses the house-as-a-system approach. Quality assurance also comes in the form of a free post-audit test after air sealing or duct sealing is performed. The APS post audit will verify that the work was performed to APS Home Performance with Energy Star standards and that real results were achieved i.e. post air leakage numbers are lower than initial results. There is also a post-post audit performed on a random selection of houses by the agency that oversees the APS Home Performance program itself, the Foundation for Senior Living. These energy efficiency experts will perform a modified APS energy audit on your home again to verify the contractors’ results. Whew! And then if you have a refrigerator in the garage there may be another post-post-post audit done on your home… just kidding on that one.
The Program Itself:
The Arizona Home Performance with Energy Star program has a prescribed set of test that the energy auditor will perform. A blower door will be set up to measure air leakage and duct leakage. An attic inspection is done to check your insulation levels and see how it was installed. Building measurements, HVAC information and water heater specifications are taken and entered into the building model done for each home. Your home is also tested for combustion safety and check for potential back-drafting of gas appliances. Those test listed above are required by the program. What is not required but may be performed depending on your reasons for the audit and on the energy auditor you use is a utility bills analysis, renewable energy consultation (from a third party), an in-home discussion, a customized report, or additional energy modeling. Some homeowners are looking for reasons why their utility bills have increased and a utility bill analysis is essential. Other clients find valuable a general discussion on how to reduce their bills immediately after the audit is complete. A customized report may also be created for the homeowner and can vary on levels of quality.
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