Mom, don’t freak out. The IRS is not after us, we pay our taxes on time. We got an energy audit.
Where we live the only electric company is actually an Electric Co-Op. I don’t really understand what this fully means but these are common in rural areas. It is a way to provide cost effective energy utilities to area that is not highly populated. Below is a great definition from this website
What is an Electric Cooperative?
An electric cooperative is a type of electric utility that is owned by the members it serves. A co-op exists solely to provide high-quality service at the lowest possible price for its member-owners.
They have been so effective in rural areas, I have read that urban areas are starting to have more co-ops. Since all the users affect each other if you are making your home more energy effective, that means you will use less. This means the Co-op can use more energy somewhere else. Because of this, they will compensate you for making your home more energy-efficient. The great thing is that most Electric Co-Ops and Electric Company’s will rebate you or compensate you in some way if you make certain energy updates. It varies in different cities and areas. When you are renovating a home make it a priority to call your local Electric Co-Op or company’s website to see what they offer. A few years ago we received a rebate from the government and our energy company for upgrading to a specified energy-efficient HVAC system. By doing this we saved thousands of dollars. We had no clue and would not have known without someone sharing with us the great news. Now, we will always check the local electric company co-op/company whenever we renovate a home. We called when we bought this home and inquired about what they were offering.
They suggested an energy audit. Here is what it does.
- They send a person from the Co-Op to do an energy audit of your home. They tell you where to make energy updates in your home to make your home more efficient. They give you an official list.
- If you make those updates they suggest on the official list, then they will pay 50% of the cost of your renovation up to $1000. So if you have $1000 of updates to do, then they will pay $500.
- The Cost for the Audit?: $275. BUT….they will pay $200 of the cost to incentivize you to do it so your cost is only $75.
We decided it was a big YES. Here is why.
- We were completely renovating a home and this $75 out-of-pocket would help us set priorities on what we needed to do in this home.
- This expert would help us know how to do updates correctly.
- We have a list of things that we can tell potential buyers that we have done.
- We know that we would spend more $1000 on updates to this home but $500 is $500. That allows us to put our own $500 somewhere else.
The nicest man (who has a name but will remained unnamed to protect his privacy) came to do our energy audit. He started with removing the door and doing a “Blow Door Test”. You make sure all windows and doors are shut. It is also important to do an energy audit BEFORE renovations. You don’t want any unnecessary holes. You want the house to be as is.
What this does is it depressurizes your home (sucks air out) and the auditor goes everywhere to see where air is being sucked in from the outside. If you feel air you have an air leak. Our energy audit was extremely thorough, and we were very thankful for it being so. Our guy even checked vents and insulation.
What is great is that you have an expert in your home who knows what he is talking about. The more educated you can become with your home or the one you are renovating, the more money you will save in the end. Take the time to listen and learn. We even take notes. At the end of the day we had a list of things we needed to do. We were able to take that list and prioritize the list we had made of renovations. We even had to cut some things out or modify certain projects so we could spend a little less. Since we are renovating to sell this home, we were able to use the audit to filter out what is needed and what would be nice…but not important.
The lesson learned? When you are renovating ANY home check with your Energy Company or Energy Co-Op (basically whomever you pay your bill to) to see what energy update incentives they provide.
Hope this helps ya save some moolah! I will update you on what our energy updates we will be doing.
Thanks for reading,