Save Money One Your Energy Utility Bill With a Home Energy Audit

Posted by Chris Kauffman
| December 2014

Cut 5-30% off your energy bill with targeted home upgrades

From drafty windows to inefficient light bulbs – home energy wasters can drive your utility bill sky high! Conducting a home energy audit can identify where in your home you are losing money. Whether you choose to hire a professional energy auditor or conduct a self assessment, an energy audit will help you identify energy-saving home improvements. 

Professional home energy audit

In-depth professional audits can help you discover greater opportunities for energy savings in your home. A certified home energy auditor works on-on-one with you to analyze your utility bills, daily energy usage, and appliances to determine which upgrades could yield the highest savings. With Pennslyvania’s Residential Energy Audit program, your auditor will:

  • Evaluate the critical energy controllers in your home – heating and cooling system, insulation, windows, appliances and lighting
  • Detect air leaks costing you money with a blower door test
  • Install up to $200 worth of energy-saving products, such as energy-efficient bulbs and smart power strips.

With Pennsylvania’s Residential Energy Audit Program, a energy audit will cost you no more than $350.

Find a certified energy auditor near you.

PA residents eligible for $250 rebate if energy savings achieved

You are eligible for up to $250 in rebates when you have your home audited by a BPI-certified auditor. When you make the recommended improvements to your home and achieve at least 350 kWh of energy savings, you will receive your rebate!

DIY Home energy audit – where to look and what to check

For do-it-yourselfers – an energy audit is easier than you think when you follow this simple checklist. Following this list will help you prioritize energy efficient upgrades.

Locate & Seal Air Leaks

Cracks in windows frames or walls lets warm air escape and cold air enter. Reducing drafts can increase savings by 5-30%.

  • How to detect air leaks
    • Visual inspection – check interior and exterior of your home, paying attention to all areas where two different building material meet.
    • Building Pressurization Test – Turn off your heater, furnace, and other combustion appliances. Light an incense stick and pass around common leak sites.
  • Seal Air Leaks
    • Weatherstrip windows and door bases. Caulk holes near faucets, pipes, electrical outlets, and wiring.

View these tips on sealing air leaks.

Check Heating & Cooling Equipment

Your heating and cooling equipment should be checked man

  • Change filters every one or two months
  • Annual inspection by professional
  • Replace units > 15 years old with more energy-efficient unit
  • Check ductwork for leaks, especially near seams.

Insulate your home

Insulation ensures heat does not escape through the ceiling or walls. Start in your attic. Turn off electricity and remove an outlet plate. First, inspect the type and thickness of the insulation. Then determine the R-value of the insulation.

Learn about adding insulation to your home

Upgrade to energy-saving lightbulbs*

Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out by CFL and LED light bulbs which last longer and are far more efficient. Comparitively, CFL and LED bulbs are 80% more efficient than incandescent lighting. While they are more expensive, they can add up to serious savings. According to consumer reports, replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb with a spiral-type 13-watt CFL can save you more than $57 over the life of the CFL!

Choosing between a professional or DIY home energy audit

If you live in an older home or have a higher than average energy bill, you might want to invest in a professional audit. A professional audit will be more thorough than a DIY audit and offers the benefit of a rebate. However, any improvement you can identify from a DIY audit or otherwise will increase the efficiency of your home.

 
Chris Kauffman

About the Author

Chris Kauffman

Chris is the Vice President of Kauffman Gas. He is the fourth generation of Kauffmans involved in the daily operations of Kauffman Gas. He helps lead the team in delivering propane gas and top quality service to customers in Chester County, Lancaster County and parts of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.