The audit starts with a site visit that lasts for 3 to 6 hours and is completed after another several hours of energy modeling and report-writing in the office. It also includes Infrared Imaging on the house which will help us pinpoint specific areas of the house where heat loss and air leakage is happening. Lewis Creek Company provides a very detailed report (generally about 20 pages long) discussing how the house is currently operating, what measures could be undertaken and how much they would likely cost. Most BPI (Building Performance Institute) certified auditors will provide these types of reports.
After the audit you will have the information you need to take the next step with heating systems, insulation and any other items that might be on your audit report. The audit should include some energy modeling that shows you how each change you make will impact the performance of your house as well as predict cost savings from that measure. In essence we can show which improvements are going to be the “lowest hanging fruit” in terms of maximizing the return on your investment. The modeling is a key component in helping you focus your resources on the biggest impacts in improving the efficiency of your home.
Some states have special incentive programs which pay you incentives for making energy improvements. In Vermont, Efficiency Vermont administers many of these programs via partner contractors who are specially certified and vetted to perform these audits. Check with your state to see what yours has to offer in terms of financial incentives.
Audits generally cost between $200 and $500 depending on the auditor and the thoroughness of their examination. Some auditors offer their services for free if you hire them for your work.
Bottom Line: Don’t skip the energy audit. Consult with a qualified professional before you decide to tackle a home improvement, as they can help you prioritize projects based on energy savings and return-on-investment. An energy audit up front can help prevent long-term challenges in your house and can ensure that your house is as comfortable and efficient as possible. Start with an audit and understand how the various pieces work together in the ecosystem that is your home. The information gathered in an audit is so important in how we think about your home, which is why Lewis Creek Company includes a free energy audit with each renovation.
For the inside scoop on audits and energy efficiency, watch our Facebook Live video as we celebrated National Energy Efficiency Day!
Check out our post that defines the energy audit: Energy Audits: What Are They and Why Are They Important?
Use our Energy Audit flyer to guide you through the process.