Energy Audits

What are the benefits of an energy audit?

An energy audit will tell you how heat is escaping from your home and identify how colder air is getting in. You can use this information to make your home more comfortable and reduce your fuel bill. Another benefit is making your home healthier and safer, by improving the indoor air quality. In this video, auditor Jane Pekol talks about the benefits that come from having an energy audit done.

Jane interview clip 5 from Northbranch Media on Vimeo.

What information do you need to start an energy audit?

When you sign up for an energy audit, the auditor who is assigned to you will contact you to gather information about the age of your home and what type of house it is. The auditor will also talk with you about your goals for making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. In this video, auditor Jane Pekol describes how the process begins.

Jane interview clip 1 from Northbranch Media on Vimeo.

What is the blower door test?

The blower door test allows the energy auditor to precisely measure how much air is leaking into and out of your house. A fan is temporarily set up in an exterior doorway and the auditor uses the fan to draw some air out of your house, slightly reducing the air pressure. Because the air pressure inside is lower than the air pressure outside, air will be drawn into the house through any gaps or leaks. The auditor will use a handheld infra red scanner to locate any places where colder air can enter the home. In this video, auditor Jane Pekol describes the blower door test.

Jane interview Clip 2 from Northbranch Media on Vimeo.

What is the most common reason for heat loss in a house?

Because warm air is less dense and naturally rises, the most common way for heat to escape is through the ceiling in the top of your home. Warm air can force its way through any gaps around a plumbing vent, recessed lights, a chimney, or bathroom fans. Holes drilled for electrical wires also allow heat to escape from the living area. This process happens constantly during the winter. As auditor Jane Pekol explains in this video, sealing air leaks will keep heat in your living space and reduce your heating costs.

Jane interview Clip 4 from Northbranch Media on Vimeo.

What should I expect after the energy audit?

After the energy auditor has visited your home and conducted a series of tests, he or she will prepare a comprehensive report for you. It will include the results of the tests, as well as a set of recommendations about how to make your home more comfortable, healthier, and energy efficient. We will also provide an estimate for EnergySmart to do the recommended renovations. The auditor will go over the report with you and answer any questions you have. In this video, auditor Jane Pekol discusses how she follows up with clients after doing the on-site tests.

Jane interview Clip 3 from Northbranch Media on Vimeo.

Energy Renovations

Can I get an assessment from EnergySmart of Vermont and do the work myself?

Yes, but... you'll need guidance and training, and you'll need to do some homework. What you know might not be all that you need to know to do this kind of work. You may want to attend a Button Up presentation and learn more about the DIY Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.

Can this type of work be done by any building contractor?

No. All of our staff are trained and certified to make sure they have learned the protocols for testing buildings and recommending appropriate energy renovations. Not every builder has learned to build energy-efficient buildings, or is certified to make the right renovations to solve the issues that may be present without causing other issues.

Do I need a building permit?

No. Energy renovation is considered to be maintenance on your structure. You also don't need the permission of your condo association—most associations agree that this is maintenance.

Does EnergySmart of Vermont work with owners of commercial buildings?

Yes, we have worked on a number of multi-family, commercial and municipal buildings and are happy to apply our experience to helping businesses become more efficient too. Give us a call at 802-476-3549.

How long does it take EnergySmart to complete a project?

After your energy assessment, you'll receive a written report and estimate in about a week. Usually, we can schedule your energy renovations within two weeks from receipt of your contract. Depending upon the complexity of the project, we typically complete renovations within a week.

I had energy renovation work done several years ago. Is there anything else I can do to improve my home's performance?

If you have not had an energy assessment then you should get that done. The report that follows your assessment can be used as your road map to do more energy improvements.

I'm a renter - what, if anything, can I do?

If you're a renter, your landlord is part of the process. We'll work with you, and your landlord, to identify whole-building improvements.

What territory do you serve?

We conduct energy assessments and energy renovations throughout Vermont.

Financial

Does this work qualify for Federal Tax Credits?

While tax credits have been offered in the past, they are now expired. Check with a tax consultant for information or updates.

What are my payment options?

We accept check or credit card payments. We will help you maximize available credits and rebates. Some local banks have loans that favor energy improvements. Give us a call to discuss options!

What is your average project cost?

The average cost of a project is $5,000-$10,000. This includes the energy assessment, renovation contracting, supplies and materials. Most of our customers experience a significant decrease in their energy costs, and an increase in comfort.

Other

I have more questions. What next?

We'll be glad to answer any questions you have about making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Give us a call at 802-476-3549 or email us at info@energysmartvt.com.