Frequently Asked Questions
What is an energy audit?
Energy audits can vary widely depending on who is using the term. We think of them as an evaluation of your energy usage, water usage, home construction and lifestyle. Be sure that your auditor is BPI Certified otherwise you may be falling into a sales trap.
What do you do for an energy audit?
There are 3 parts:
1. In-home evaluation – We check your building envelope, air and duct leakage, insulation analysis, water efficiency and the home’s energy users
2. The analysis – cost analysis and what if scenarios
3. Reporting and next steps
Can I do my own audit?
Absolutely, there are several online resources we encourage you to use to get a general idea of your home’s energy use. We find an educated the homeowner complements a professional audit perfectly and a great deal is learned by both parties during the audit. The reason to hire a professional energy auditor is to diagnose problems you can't see such as air leakage, duct leakage, room pressures, combustion safety and construction defects.
What is a blower door and how does it work?
A blower door allows us to effectively control the pressures inside your home and can reveal often hidden factors that have big impacts on your utility bills.
How long does an energy audit take for my home?
An energy audit will take 2 - 3 hours depending on the size and condition of your home.
Is there anything I have to prepare for the Energy Auditor?
Please clear a pathway for easy access to rooms, attic hatches and make sure we can open and close all doors.
Do I need to be present during the Energy Audit?
It would be beneficial to you as we point out energy saving tips along the way and if you have had any remodeling done, it is important for us to understand what changes have been made to your home.
What is the cost of an Energy Audit?
The cost will depend on utility rebates and the size of your home. APS and SRP customers will pay a flat rate of $99. Typically the cost was $300 - $450.
I already know I need more insulation, do I still need an energy audit?
We never recommend a single solution to reduce your utility bills and I would be weary of anyone that claims to do so. Our whole home solutions are designed to give you a complete and unbiased look at cutting your utility bills and increasing your comfort. Our clients have saved hundreds of dollars by identifying upgrades that have larger paybacks and bigger monthly utility bill savings than just going with a cookie cutter solution.
I want to go solar, do I still need the energy audit?
By reducing your electric consumption first you can save thousands of dollars off a solar panel system. Yes, solar is sexy but the rebates are disappearing and there are much more cost effective ways to go green that you may not be aware of.
Are there any rebates available to help pay for my energy audit?
Absolutely, APS and SRP customers receive a $99 energy audit though Home Performance with Energy Star plus access to 75% off the cost of insulation, air sealing, duct sealing and sun screens through performance-verified rebates. Also, your local government may have a program to buy down the cost of the energy audit and upgrade even further. For more information, click here.
Are there tax credits available for installing any green upgrades?
Yes, a one-time 10% or $300 federal tax credit is available for many of the green upgrades and retrofits available. Be careful though since this credit can only be applied once, you want to be sure to use it where you are going to see the biggest returns for your hard-earned dollar. An energy audit performed with energy modeling is the easiest way to discern where those breakpoints will be. State tax credits are also available for some energy efficiency upgrades, contact us for more details.
Are there different levels of an energy audit?
Yes, the important issue is to make sure the person coming to your home is a Certified Energy Auditor by an accredited institute like the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Be wary of “free energy audits” performed by sales staff, you can probably conduct a more thorough audit yourself by going to www.energyguide.com, www.energystar.gov and spending the time learning where you should really put your money.
A basic energy audit will look any combination of pressure balances, air and duct leakage, attic insulation and your building envelope. A more advanced audit will also look at appliance and HVAC energy use and take more detailed measurements of your home’s energy consuming features.
I am just renting a home/ apartment, why would I want an energy audit?
Having an energy audit performed on a rented residence is a great way to cut utility bills for the time you are there. Just like a house, you want to be sure that the upgrades are cost-effective and will pay themselves back in a short amount of time.
I am moving soon and want to wait until I move to my new home for an energy audit.
Performing an energy audit is actually a great way to market and have the green features of your home certified. Green homes typically outsell and demand higher value than their conventional counterparts.