Energy Assessments and Energy Audits are a great place to begin taking steps to increase your efficient use of energy in your home or business, resulting in money savings for your monthly budget. For individuals and businesses thinking about renewable energy projects, beginning by increasing your efficient use of energy will make the renewable energy project payback even faster.
A first step in accessing an energy assessment or audit for your home or business is to explore your local electric or natural gas provider’s websites. On these websites you will usually find online Energy Calculators that will help you assess your current energy usage. After completing the calculation and reviewing your current energy usage, you can explore the website for information regarding an in home or business energy assessment or audit. Many utilities provide a list of energy auditors and often provide financial incentives to help you cover the cost of the audit. You often will also find incentive programs offered by the utility that will help you to recapture some costs in completing energy efficiency projects that are identified through the audit.
Types of Energy Assessments
There are two levels of energy assessments offered by utilities:
In Home (or Business) Energy Assessment
This assessment is a walk through visual review of your property looking for potential energy savings applications. The assessment is performed by a professional energy auditor and takes approximately an hour. A written report, including suggestions to increase efficiency is usually provided. A member of the household or business will need to be present during the assessment.
In Home (or Business) Energy Audit
An Energy Audit is a comprehensive diagnostic audit of your buildings energy using systems. The audit is performed by a professional energy auditor and takes approximately three to four hours. A member of the household or business will need to be present during the assessment. Most audits include a blower door test that shows air infiltration in the building. Items often reviewed are:
- Heating & Air Conditioning
- Air Sealing
- Water Heating
For further information you can contact your local electric or natural gas utility. The web site, www.energizeohio.osu.edu, has a searchable feature on the home page that will allow you to obtain information about programs offered through your electric or natural gas utility.