Is Your Home Energy Efficient?

We were getting our annual furnace check-up from Yankee Gas a couple of days ago and after telling us our furnace was good to go, the service tech said something in passing about getting a home energy audit. I had heard that these audits could be done, but I was under the impression that they were on the expensive side, and mentioned this to the tech. “Not at all,” he said, “they’re really cheap considering the potential savings in energy costs you can get.”

Did someone say savings in energy costs?? OK, that officially hooked me, since I’m all about saving money on whatever I can. So, I asked him where I could find out more and he said to just call Yankee Gas and they’d point me in the right direction, and I did just that.

They told me to go to their web site for more information, and I found some great info on the Home Energy Audit Program. Administered by Yankee Gas and Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and with assistance from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, the program provides a wealth of energy efficiency services. First, download the application in PDF format here , fill it out and mail it to the applicable address on the form or fax it to the appropriate number listed, depending on if you’re a customer of CL&P or United Illuminating (UI). They tell you that there may be a wait for the service (assuming you’re eligible for it at all; there are income restrictions) and it’s subject to availble funding, but it’s worth it to applt and see what they say.

Here’s a list of the services the technician will perform during the visit:

  • A home energy assessment including a blower-door test which pinpoints critical drafts and air leaks. After they are found, the technician will professionally seal them during the visit.
  • A duct test to assess air leaks within the duct work system. The technician will seal those significant leaks.
  • Hot water saving measures including low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators will be installed.
  • Rebates up to $600 for qualified central air conditioning systems and up to $400 for replacement of certain inefficient appliances with qualifying energy-efficient models.
  • Incentives for insulation upgrades (gas and electric heated homes only)
  • Installation of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. (not available for Wallingford electric customers)
  • A “kitchen table wrap-up” where the technician will review the work that was done in your home and tell you about additional resources that can help you save energy and money.

The fee for this service is a paltry $75 for those who heat their homes with electricity or natural gas, $300 for any other type of fuel; however, for a limited time, the fee is reduced to $75 for customers who heat with oil, propane or kerosene. For more information on OPM programs available for oil, propane or kerosene heat users, including a furnace “Clean, Test & Tune service, please visit CTEnergyInfo.com. The fee is collected at the time the audit is performed.

So, for a measly $75, you can find out just how well your home uses the energy you pay so dearly for. Even the $300 fee would be a bargain if the savings realized are substantial. We sent in our application and will now wait to see if we qualify. In these hard economic times, any money saved is a good thing, so we recommend that you also consider applying for this valuable service. Plug the holes in your home, and you’ll plug some of those holes in your wallet.

UPDATE: Wallingford Electric customers can go to this web site to complete an energy profile for your home. You can choose to do a full profile which is very detailed, or an EZ Profile, which still asks a lot of questions, but is not as detailed as the full profile. It would be best to have all your electric and gas bills (if applicable) with you when you create your profile, as it asks for figures from those bills. The results, when complete, are also very detailed and include energy tips as well; the report can also be printed as a PDF document. We highly recommend our Wallingford readers complete this audit, especially if you cannot qualify for the Home Energy Audit. Stay warm this winter!

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