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Stop Wasting Electricity: Have an Energy Evaluator Visit Your Home

Your energy bills are through the roof, and you cringe every time you have to shell out such a large chunk of change to your local electric company. You’ve implemented every energy-saving strategy you can think of, but if your bills are still creeping higher and higher, maybe it’s time to call in a professional energy evaluator.

Illustration about wasting or throwing money out the windowA professional energy audit can save you up to 30 percent on your monthly electric bill, according to energy.gov. The auditor will look in your home to see if there are issues in the wiring and insulation systems or any other problems that could lead to a higher-than-standard energy draw. He’ll examine your outlets and appliances and conduct a blower door test or thermographic scan. He’ll also review your past utility bills and energy rates to form a complete picture of your energy consumption.

Finding a Professional

Your electric company can recommend an evaluator or you can find one on your own. Your state and local government are also great sources for recommendations on energy evaluators who are effective at fixing your electric predicament. Some utilities offer free or discounted home energy audits, and some local governments also offer incentives for getting a proper energy evaluation. Contact yours to find out if this incentive is available.

How It Works

First, the auditor examines the outside of your home to determine where the electric wire connection is and other essential pieces of information. He’ll ask you some questions to get an idea of how your family uses your space—for example, how often you leave the house completely empty, the hours you’re at work and how many rooms are in use when everyone is home.

Tests such as a thermograph and blower door test find problems with air leaks, air flow, shorted-out outlets, improper wiring, bad windows, malfunctioning HVAC systems and humidity issues that cause you to spend more in energy than you should be.

What Comes Next

The energy evaluator provides you with a complete written report on his findings. If you are receiving this service directly from your utility company, the evaluator may also make a copy to provide to your electric company. You’ll know exactly where your problem areas are, suggestions on how to fix the issues and references for professional contractors who can address the issues that don’t fall under a do-it-yourself category.

You’d be surprised at how many seemingly innocuous things can have a major impact on how energy-efficient your house is. You can do a complete renovation or take on the project over time. The price you pay for the evaluation is well worth the long-term benefits of reducing your energy costs and the positive environmental impact.

Vincent Laplante, the author of this post, was born and raised in Quebec. Vincent is pursuing a degree in information technology at a small New England college.

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