With the Maryland BGE Rebate Program you can have a full comprehensive Energy Audit at the low price of $100 (typically $400), $300 will be saved instantly & the contractor will be reimbursed, after the full home Energy Audit you will receive a work order with line item pricing explaining exactly which retrofits would save you the most & which are most important, please visit our Buy Energy Audit page for more information & details on pricing.
As part of the BGE Rebate Program you are eligible for $3800 in rebates from BGE is you heat with natural gas or have Central A/C. $2000 can go towards Energy Retrofits & $1800 can go towards high efficiency HVAC upgrades.
Home Energy Loss Professionals does the Energy Retrofit work as well as the Energy Audit, so we do not sub-contract out the Energy Retrofits we recommend, for instance insulating your attic or air sealing throughout your home to increase your family's comfort as well as reduce your energy bills.
Energy Audits can provide detailed information on Green Energy Retrofits that are cost-effective or that give a direct payback on the investments that are made in the Green Retrofits. The investment formula is your energy improvement's SIR or your Savings to Investment Ratio. A good Auditor will tell you that the investments you make on the energy retrofits will pay themselves back in energy savings in a short five or less years. Therefore, with measures that are designed to last the life of your home, after seven years, or shorter with the escalating energy cost, you can be repaid on your investment and be more comfortable in your home. After the pay back period you will actually be making money on your homes energy losses. An example of a SIR is new windows: New windows make a house look better BUT, unless they are falling out, it will take you about twenty-five years to get a pay back on them. (And the window scam continues though, with guarantees of 40 % energy saving). In addition, when the energy retrofit is completed, upon resale, your home can qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage or EEM's. Thus, Auditors can provide you with a verifiable way to tell what retrofits you should install, by giving your home a walk through audit. An audit can take from 1-4 hours on the walk through (depending on the methods used) and up to 4 hours to crunch the data. With an audit you will receive a report on the energy waste in your home and cost effective investments or retrofits. To guess at what energy retrofits to install could be a great waste of money. A good home audit should include blower door testing, for with this you have a tangible start point.
Blower door (air leakage) testing and infrared scanning are some of the most frequently used methods. Computerized combustion analysis is also highly recommended, for with an efficient (tight) home can come Carbon Monoxide poisoning. When the home is drafty, this gas is not "as" dangerous, but when the house is air-sealed, this gas is more condensed. Ask what method will be used to test all combustion units?!
Some of the measures could include attic, floor, wall, kneewall, or duct insulation (see insulation), furnace upgrades or retrofits, air sealing (see air sealing), setback thermostats, etc. . . A computer generated audit is recommended when some of the higher priced investments are contemplated.
Blower door testing is state of the art, as far as energy audits are concerned. Any audit that does not use this method is heading for failure. Yes, old-timers can tell you what areas of your house to work on but, this testing can take you right to the areas of your house that you are losing energy through convective air currents.
Hot air is drawn to cold air like a magnet and any cracks or holes in your thermal home envelope can be costing you money. Some may be leaky and some not. This machine will show you which ones to seal. It also gives you a CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) measurement that can be related to other homes, thus giving you a way to judge the efficiency of your building envelope. It depressurizes the house, so that even the smallest of drafts can be felt. If you are getting an energy audit... definitely ask if they will be using blower door technology!!!
Infrared Cameras are also useful tools to tell the level of insulation in wall cavities, attics and basements. So mainly they can tell the intensity of conductive energy loss. They can also be used to detect any types of energy losses. Not all home audits have to include this, but it is helpful. This device can in effect fine tune the energy audit.
Energy audits are often available at no cost through local Energy Assistance and Weatherization programs. These programs are often operated in conjunction with your local utility company. Many of these items can be found in a private energy audit, but these would all be free of cost if you meet income guidelines: Being 150% to 200% above the poverty guidelines. Some of the services could include the following:
More information can be obtained by contacting your local Energy Assistance or Weatherization programs. These programs are available in each State and the District of Columbia.