As promised in our earlier post today, Is a Free Energy Audit Worth It?, here is a checklist of things you want to make sure you do and ask for during your free energy audit:
- Make it clear to whomever is scheduling your audit that you expect expert and seasoned auditors to conduct your free audit. Make sure that two auditors will attend your audit, or, one auditor and a quality-control representative from U.I.
- Before your audit, make sure that your attic and basement spaces are somewhat clear enough for the auditors to get into (they don’t tell you this on the phone!).
- Important: You are not allowed to go in and out of your house during the audit or else the door blower test will be inaccurate or they will be unable to do it. All interior doors need to be opened during the test, as well, so if your child is napping, or pets need to stay behind doors, the auditors need to know.
- When the auditors arrive, ask them to give you a step-by-step rundown of the process or else you won’t know what is going on as they move through your home.
- Ask them to fully explain why they are doing the door blower test, and what they hope to find. (They conduct two blower tests…ask them why…)
- Ask them if you can follow them as they are doing their audit (however, if there are two auditors, this will be tricky).
- Discuss your electric bill with them right away. Tell them you are concerned that it is higher. (No doubt they will tell you to talk to U.I., but you may glean some insights from confiding in them that your bill may have spiked in Dec./Jan.)
- Make sure you find out what they are offering you for free. They should offer you CFL light bulbs, faucet aerators, rebates (this is tricky, however—the rebates are really only if you plan to hire a contractor to install high-tech insulation with high R-values), weather-stripping, foam insulation, and a handheld power meter. Ask about low-flow shower heads, although we were not offered any from Gulick.
- At the end of the audit, they will sit down with you to go over their findings. This is tricky because you want to understand what they found, but they will probably feel rushed and need to go off to another audit. BUT, insist that they fully explain things to you. Especially have them explain the CPM Pre, CPM Post, and CPM Reduction which impacts your electricity bill (one of us was told that the CPM results showed that our bill will be reduced by $12 a month due to the services they provided during the audit).
- If you did not get a handheld power meter because they are out of stock, call the audit company and make sure you are on the list to get one. It could take a couple of months to get it. The power meter is a device that helps you know the energy output of your various appliances. We didn’t see one, so we don’t know what it looks like. One of our auditors didn’t even tell us about it, but we knew we were supposed to get one from the grapevine.
We hope you have a great experience!