For several years now, Xcel Energy has paid its customers the majority cost to obtain a full infrared home energy audit. These professional home energy audits, available in Denver, are essentially a home energy checkup, and they tell customers what type sustainable home improvements they can make to save the most money. Examples of the recommended priorities are:
- heating and air conditioning repair;
- solar panels installation;
- insulation and air sealing;
- energy efficient windows;
- tankless water heaters;
- new energy efficient evaporative coolers;
- programmable and smart thermostats;
- new energy efficient appliances.
Knowing what your return per home improvement will help ensure smart decisions, and smart use of your money.
During the home energy audit, the Building Performance Institute certified and Xcel Energy approved auditor first inputs into the Snugg Pro software very important information. The first is the last twelve months of Xcel Energy history for the home. This is important as it takes into account the home’s energy performance over the past twelve months, and the energy consumption patterns of the homes’ occupants. Next, the auditor inputs the home’s energy characteristics, from depth of attic insulation, to age range of appliances, to the square footage of the floorplan, and type of windows, etc. Finally, the auditor conducts a blower door test with infrared images. The Blower Door test measures the NACH, or natural air changes per hour. This calculation tells the auditor and homeowner how much air leaks out in an hour in a home’s natural state — when all doors and windows are closed. These leaks are documented with color infrared photographs.
And perhaps most importantly, and most beneficial to the homeowner, a variety of home energy improvements within the home energy audit are then ranked in order of financial return. The Xcel Energy audit tells you based on area cost, what amount of energy savings you would realize in the months and years ahead – for each and every improvement. The purpose of the home energy audit is to provide information, and it provides unbiased information indeed!
President and CEO – Sustainable Improvements, Denver