Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Energy Audits

A home energy audit is the first step to determine how much energy your home consumes, and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Audits also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show you ways to save on lighting costs, conserve hot water and reduce other electricity uses. You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough audit.

A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.

Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit Resources

Utilities and Other Contacts

Many utility companies offer programs that promote energy efficiency. Energy efficiency, or conservation is like a new source of energy for utilities. Every unit of electricity or natural gas that is conserved is a unit of energy that does not have to be purchased. That is good for the utility as well as the consumer. Some utilities offer rebates for furnaces, boilers and programmable thermostats. Others may provide energy efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs and technical assistance.