When considering what energy efficiency features to add to your home, a home energy audit is a logical first step. This in-home evaluation by a trained professional of the energy usage habits of your home – ranging from looking for window leaks to evaluating, in some cases, how much stuff you have plugged in and turned on – is a useful piece of information to have as you look at what will be your most important energy saving priorities, both in terms of how much energy can be saved and what your costs will be.
Here in Portland, Oregon where EarthTechling is headquartered we have Energy Trust of Oregon, a state level non-profit organization focused upon helping to keep energy costs as low as possible for Oregonians through promotion of energy efficiency in a variety of ways, be it energy audits, cash incentives or other solutions. We turned to a spokesperson from this non-profit to find out what a home energy audit entails in their minds:
EarthTechling (ET): How does Energy Trust of Oregon go about doing home energy audits?
Energy Trust of Oregon: To help homeowners determine which energy saving ideas might work best for their house, Energy Trust of Oregon encourages homeowners to start with an energy check up called a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR assessment. Led by a specially trained and certified contractor, a Home Performance assessment takes an entire house into account — from heating and cooling systems to weatherization — to show how it is using energy and what improvements will help it work at peak performance, using the least energy. The homeowners receive a prioritized list of recommendations and can make improvements based on what fits their budget or goals.
Interested homeowners can locate a local Home Performance contractor online at www.energytrust.org/hp or by calling 1-866-368-7878.
ET: Why should a consumer consider doing a home energy audit?
Energy Trust: By evaluating their home, a homeowner can determine which energy saving improvements will have the greatest impact so they can be sure they are putting their money where it matters most, and not overlook any hidden problem areas.