Photo: Energy Audits & Rebate Programs
Energy Audits & Rebate Programs

What is an Energy Audit?

A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.

An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy.

Audits also determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough audit.

A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure.

Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.

Can I Do my Own Energy Audit?

Sure, there are things that most anyone can do to explore the energy efficiency of their own home. However, our HERS Raters and BPI Analysts, can scientifically identify the sources of your home’s problems using advanced technology such a blower doors and infrared thermometers. Plus our many years of experience in renovations means we can quickly and thoroughly investigate your home.

Professional Energy Audits

Professional energy audits generally go into great detail. The energy auditor should do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills.

Many professional energy audits will include a blower door test. Most will also include a thermographic scan. There’s also another type of test—the PFT air infiltration measurement technique—but it is rarely offered.

Preparing for an Energy Audit

Before the energy auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms. Have copies or a summary of the home’s yearly energy bills (your utility can get these for you).

Auditors use this information to establish what to look for during the audit. The auditor first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and its features (i.e., wall area, number and size of windows). The auditor then will analyze the residents’ behavior:

  • Is anyone home during working hours?
  • What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter?
  • How many people live here?
  • Is every room in use?

Your answers may help uncover some simple ways to reduce your household’s energy consumption.

Photo: Why Do I Need an Energy Audit?
Why Do I Need an Energy Audit?

Drafts got you shivering? Heating and cooling bills too high? An Energy Audit identifies what improvements to your home will save you the most money.

Save Money

With the high price of energy only on the increase, you can save up to 40% on energy costs every month by minimizing your energy usage and maximizing savings. Most Ulster County residents qualify for a free home energy audit. And the rebates and low interest loans available mean you can’t afford not to take advantage!

Live Comfortably

Stop avoiding cold drafty rooms in winter and hot rooms in summer. Enjoy the luxury of having consistent, desired temperatures throughout your home.

Be Healthy

Drafts and unwanted moisture in the home cause allergies, asthma and can even affect your sleeping habits. Keep mold out of your home with proper moisture control and air sealing.

Increase Your Home's Value

Energy efficient homes are very attractive to potential home buyers and real estate agents. You can use your energy audit report to show which improvements have been made, how they have impacted your monthly bills, and simply that you’ve taken good care of your house.

Identify "Hidden" Repairs Before They Become Too Costly

A home energy audit can pinpoint necessary repairs that may otherwise be difficult to diagnose - before they become big problems with big expenses. For example, hidden ventilation issues in your attic can lead to rotting and mold issues.

Help Your Environment

Use less energy and reduce your carbon footprint. A satisfying way to be green!