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Is a energy efficiency audit worth it?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by rygar, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. rygar

    rygar New Member

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    With the Connecticut Efficiency Fund I can get the following service for $99 total.

    1. A thorough visual inspection of the home's building envelope. We check for any safety issues like gas leaks, asbestos or anything else that may have to be addressed so we do no harm to you, your family or your home.

    2. An insulation check, using involving infrared thermography, which pinpoints spots where insulation may have settled, been improperly installed, or where it may be missing altogether.

    3. An air leakage test using a blower door, to measure the cumulative effect of all the air leaks in the home. After we find any and all of the leaks, we actually seal those leaks. We use program approved products and techniques to assure that the efficiency upgrades to your home are permanent. This is all done WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGE. YOU PAY THE CO-PAY AND THAT'S ALL!!!

    4. We will change up to 25 light bulbs in your home from regular light bulbs to CFL's. (10 specialty (recessed lights, 3-way.etc) and 15 standard)

    There are about 7 more, but i did not want to inundate you with a wall of text. I have a ranch built in the late 60's. Would this help with keeping the wood stove heat in the house? I just am not sure if it is worth the $100.

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  2. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Point #3 does sound attractive, aka too good to be true; What exactly do they mean by "co-pay"?
    The other stuff is nice, but you could change your own bulbs, and you will have to pay for insulation, which you should be doing anyway.
    I would say at first glance, looks like a good deal. Is this being sponsored by the State? Have you been able to find any unbiased reviews from others who might have had it done?
    Most energy audits can get quite pricey; My state Utility Co. offers one for $100, and that doesn't include any improvements.
  3. rygar

    rygar New Member

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    anyone that pays for an utilities pays towards the connecticut efficiency fund. That fund is what pays for 90% of the actual audit/work being performed. you are only paying the copay of 100. which is why people think its too good to be true, but its not because you are essentially paying for it on your monthly electric bill. Here is the explanation for it:

    We are authorized by CL&P and U.I. to perform home efficiency upgrades for your home through the Home Energy Solutions program. The Home Energy Solutions program is funded by a small charge on your electric bill and is administered by CL&P, U.I. and the gas companies. There is only a $99 co-pay, while funds last, and we perform about $800 worth of work on your home. There is no income restriction on this program, everyone is qualified, unless you’ve already had an HES audit.

    havent seen any reviews yet.

    here is the link...it has the rest of the services that are performed.
    http://www.ecosmartct.com/page/what-is-a-whole-house-energy-audit
  4. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    If you have ductwork, that is an essential part of the audit, too. This sounds like a fair deal.
    P.S.
    When I first moved into my place, I thought I had it all snugged up. Then one day during a big storm, I saw the lace curtains billow out on one window; it wasn't the window so much as the molding around it! Some brown caulk took care of that.
  5. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

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    NE Ohio
    Sounds like a great deal! I'd love to have that blower door/infrared test done! That cost more like $300 around here. A little money spent on insulation/air sealing now, pays you back forever more!
  6. rygar

    rygar New Member

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    this is what i am thinking. they can fix alot with the sealing and duct work for AC. THen whatever insulation weaknesses i can fix.
    i figure over the next 12 months itll pay itself of in heating/cooling savings.
  7. mrjohneel

    mrjohneel Burning Hunk

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    Definitely worth it. In Massachusetts the MassSave program is a little more generous, according to soe Conn. folks who responded to my similar post here, but yes it's still a good deal. The door test is very interesting and even the lightbulbs they give you are quite expensive. I used my test to insulate my walls and got up to $2000 to do that in Mass. Take advantage of it. As a previous poster said, you already paid for it through your electric bill.
  8. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I did it here in Mass and they changed all the bulbs and foam sealed every gap, for $0.00. I would have happily paid $100 for the same thing.
  9. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    this is my experience in MA:

    I have 19 recessed cans. They were all dammed and isolated by mass save. There is now only a 2d difference between ceiling temps of insulated vs. recessed light. You're looking for a baseline, so have them come in now. Its free to get the blower test and they compare this later to a blower test when all improvements have been done. They go into your attic/basement and tell you what you need to do to have them do the work. I have get everything into the center of the basement and remove the few loose boards in the attic. Attic is the biggest bang and lowest cost, pretty much for cost of rolled bats for my attic I got 6 extra inches blown in celluse/labor, attic sealing, 3 doors sealing, basement rim joists sealing, they even made 2 attic entry doors with 2" foam and weather stripping. They did a very good job insulating on each side of my center chimney with aluminum sheets, that was a huge wind channel.

    Cost me about $800.
  10. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Mass Save is awesome. $0 cost to do it. They offered to reinsulate the ceiling of my house (previous owners had almost no insulation in here...) and absorbed 75% of the cost. Awesome stuff.
  11. rygar

    rygar New Member

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    sounds like i need to schedule an appointment
  12. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    MB. exactly what did they do with the recessed lights? I have 8 and they didn't do anything with mine and they're a sieve.
  13. Phoenix Hatchling

    Phoenix Hatchling Feeling the Heat

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    I am also in Connecticut and have see those offers. Looking at the dialog here, it seems I should revisit this service offer. Where do I contact to have this done? CL&P?
  14. rygar

    rygar New Member

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    go to the CLP website and search for Home Energy Solutions. They should have information there with approved vendors. The one that i am looking at is
    www.ecosmartct.com

    its a flat rate of 99 for oil heat and 75 for gas/electric. they should be charging for more than that.
  15. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Here, our current electric co-op does it for free. We had a blower door test done, and what I thought was a tight home, proved to be the opposite. Like one of the other posters said, I would have been glad to pay the 100.00 if they charged it. Hands down, the best thing we did for our home.
  16. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    Since they cannot insulate them, they insulate around them and build up a wall of insulation on all four sides, very time consuming. Of course they seal around them too. The post inspection by mass save found they forgot two by the sink. So they had to come back and do those too. Did you get a post inspection?
  17. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    If I would be you I would have called them the minute I read that offer. Just the CFL bulb replacements alone would pay for the $100. Up here I would need to pay $300 to $400 just for the audit, all the improvements would be added to the bill. Each situation is different but I doubt it will take you more than a few months to recoup the $100, after that it is all savings in your pocket.
  18. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Do it. The going price for this sort of thing, just for a report, was $500 until a few years ago. I just had an audit, just a report, for $150. The work done afterwards is saving me $600/yr, and I started out well insulated and airsealed.

    The data collection takes up to 3-4 hours, and writing the report takes another 3-5 hours. You are getting 8 hours of pro work for $100.
  19. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    That is a tremendous deal. I spent ~$300 just for the blower door test and I felt that was well worth it, because tightening the ole farmhouse a bit allowed me to go to 100% wood heat.

    Ugh, well, not the first time I've been jealous of the incentives that the bigger city utilities offer.
  20. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    The $300 we paid to have one done was well worth it. The infrared survey was really revealing.
  21. sesmith

    sesmith Member

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    Smokin' deal. Besides, anything you do to better air seal and insulate your home will make it more comfortable, no matter what you heat with.
  22. Nutmeg Warrior

    Nutmeg Warrior New Member

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    I'm in CT and I just signed up for the audit through CL&P's website. $99 for us as we have oil heat. I think it's even cheaper if you have natural gas. We have a similar house as OP - late 60s ranch. I will let you know how it goes.
  23. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

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    NorthShore, MA USA
    I had Dr Energy come out a few weeks ago. There's quite a few videos on YT out there and they seem to be reputable and do quality work. The audit was free and the guy offered what I thought was sound advice.
    I ended up contracting out to them for applying closed cell foam over my old stone basement walls from floor to rim joists. I also had them foam the rim joists around the newer part of my basement = 85 linear feet. They also did a very cold crawl space cinder block wall. To say the difference was noticeable is an understatement. I find myself walking around with my centech ir thermometer and shooting various places. What an improvement. I also blew in cellulose insulation into previously uninsulated walls on my first floor. (Note...if you have a old house with 'balloon framing' then run don't walk to the box store and get some insulation). I think I will easily burn less wood,coal or pellets this year.
    Sorry for the rant but maybe it will help convince others to insulate better. I just walked around before throwing more wood in the fire - thinking I dont have time to worry about air leaks.
    woodgeek likes this.
  24. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    central NJ
    anyone in NJ recommend a decent company?

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