Energy Efficiency and Audits

Jun 22, 2023Amanda's Corner0 comments

Here’s a little-known fact: it makes no sense to go solar if you haven’t considered the rest of your home’s energy consumption or energy efficiency. Just look at Ecosmart Home Services’ slogan, “Efficiency First, Solar When It Makes Sense.” That is Spot On! Why go to the expense of putting a full solar array on your roof, if your heat or cooling is pouring out of a poorly insulated attic, old single-pane windows, or doors with gaps and leaks?! It’s utterly senseless. You’d be sizing up your solar system (and overall cost) to accommodate for all those energy losses.

This is exactly why energy audits are required for anyone going solar. Although you might run into a slew of solar companies who view them as inconvenient, especially if they have to contract for them outside of their in-house services, EcoSmart has been in the energy efficiency business long before they adopted solar. So this is an organic part of their process, and something they’ve adopted to increase the comfort of your home, and ideally, reduce the size and relative cost of the solar array you would need. WIN WIN!

Here’s the craziest part – you’ve already been paying into a fund for energy audits! That’s right…if you’ve paid for natural gas or electricity since 1998, you’ve been paying into the program. Unbeknownst to you, you’ve already earned rebates and incentives that go into effect once you have an energy audit done. Things like insulation, heat pumps, hot water heaters, windows, and upgrades to boilers and ductless split systems. Would you believe something as simple as changing an electric hot water heater to a heat pump hot water heater, could save 3kW per year and actually reduce the size of the solar array you would need?

These energy audits are little understood and underutilized. You could pay for one on your own, and there are times they are incentivized by the power companies. But if you are considering going solar, know that EcoSmart will make it a part of their process at no cost to you. They will measure air gaps in your house with a high powered fan, look for gas leaks, carbon monoxide issues, asbestos-containing materials, mold, they’ll seal air gaps and air leaks, advise on upgrades that could pay you dividends, and they’ll provide you a detailed report customized to your house, with incentives and low interest financing programs that could save you a bundle

I personally benefited from the energy audit when I went solar. I was able to get blown-in cellulose in my attic and basement ceiling, bringing my attic R-factor from about 19 to 50!! I was able to feel the difference the very next winter and summer, as I wasn’t losing heat and air conditioning out of my roof! I also managed to get a ductless mini-split heating/cooling system in a sunroom that could rarely get under 82 degrees in summer, no matter how much my main central air system ran. After rebates and incentives, it cost me literally half of the retail price! And it has been priceless in making one of my most utilized rooms so much more comfortable and taking a huge strain off my aging main air conditioning system.

If you are considering any upgrades to your home, like windows, insulation, water heaters, boilers or furnaces, air conditioners, it’s absolutely worth calling EcoSmart Home Services to have an energy audit and get a personalized report with recommendations for your specific home and the corresponding rebates and incentives available. You could also check on for a list of current rebates.

Whatever you decide to do, consider prioritizing energy efficiency first. If you want to go solar, EcoSmart will take care of your energy audit and a list of applicable rebates and incentives as part of their solar package. But even if solar isn’t on your radar, consider having an energy audit anyhow. For a $50 fee (and what you’ve already paid into the program over the last 2 plus decades), you can still make your home more energy efficient, more comfortable, and less costly to run. If you might be selling your house down the road, today’s savvy buyers will see your energy improvements and lower monthly bills as a big Plus! No matter your income level, house size, style, age, it’s worth checking out!

Take time to soak up some sun!