Measure Your Energy Usage
Is my home energy efficient? How do I know where to start?
Homeowners are often surprised to find their home is not as efficient as it could be.
The only way to be sure is to obtain a "measurement" of your energy usage. It is very important to do this step before you do any energy efficiency measures in your home so that you have a baseline measure of your energy usage and continuously monitor it once you installed energy improvement measures.
If you already have a measurement of your energy usage data, find a BPI GoldStar Contractor here.
If not, there are three options available to help you obtain your energy usage data: your electric utility company may have energy usage data, do-it-yourself, or hire a professional.
Obtain Data for Free
First things first: You may be able to get energy usage data from your electric utility or if you qualify for the low-income Weatherization Program, they may provide a professional energy assessment. Click here for links to these programs. Or, continue below.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
There are two federal, free tools for a homeowner to measure energy usage:
The first one is Home Energy Yardstick that provides an energy assessment of your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes. You will need the last 12 months of your energy utility bills, type of fuel(s) you use, number of occupants, zip code and square footage. A lower score means your home uses more energy than similar homes.
The second one is the ENERGY STAR Home Advisor which can help you improve your home's energy efficiency while adding comfort and value. You can create your comprehensive home profile, get custom recommendations and track your progress.
Hire a Professional Home Energy Auditor
A professional auditor often uses infrared cameras to detect areas where air is infiltrating, and blower doors to measure leaks in the building envelope and provides energy saving recommendations.
Check with your electric company to see if they offer any Financial Incentives for hiring an auditor.
Find a building analyst or a contractor that is certified on the Building Performance Institute or Residential Energy Services Network websites.