By Mike Clinton and Adam Reed, Longmont chapter
Have you considered conducting an energy audit on your home? It’s one of the first important steps you can take if you have a goal to completely electrify your home. Even if your home is already totally electric, an audit can help reduce your future energy bills. Check out the Department of Energy’s infographic on what audits are meant to accomplish. Then contact your local energy provider to find out about possible rebates to help pay for, and schedule, an audit. For one example here in Colorado, the cities of Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park, and Longmont contract with Efficiency Works to conduct home energy audits.
Longmont CCLer Adam Reed recently had an audit on his home and here are some of his takeaways:
“Overall, there is significant room to improve the energy efficiency of typical homes in America.
“Sadly, the costs to upgrade a home to be energy efficient are very high; as you can imagine, it's much more cost-effective to make a home energy-efficient during the building process. And furthermore, energy is relatively cheap, and so it often doesn't make financial sense to upgrade a home. This is why we need a carbon price together with a dividend to incentivize folks to not only use cleaner sources of energy, but importantly, to reduce energy consumption.
“There are co-benefits to improving the energy efficiency of a home. For example, our basement has a crawl space that is not properly conditioned (i.e., with air sealed and insulated rim joists, insulated walls, and a well-sealed moisture/soil gas barrier covering the dirt floor). Fixing this issue not only reduces our energy usage, but can also improve our indoor air quality, both in terms of particulate matter and radon gas.
“Lastly, even though some of the upgrades are costly, I was surprised to learn there are some easy ones to tackle first. For example, our attic has an open duct track that lets warm air escape to the attic in the winter and lets hot air in during the summer. But just plugging this duct track is all that needs to be done — it's astonishing that there are so many small things like this that are overlooked.”
So there is one simple thing you can do for climate change (and for your pocketbook): Schedule an energy audit.