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Monday, October 18, 2010

What If You Knew How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient?

From a news release:

It's Easier than You May Think with Focus on Energy

When it comes to energy efficiency, knowledge is power. This is why Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, wants homeowners to know about the program's educational resources, technical assistance, and financial incentives available to help them improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Through Focus on Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program, homeowners learn how to take control of their energy use—resulting in lower energy bills and safer, more comfortable homes.

"Fall is the perfect time to develop an energy-efficiency plan for your home; before temperatures drop and energy bills rise," said Carter Dedolph, program manager for Focus on Energy. "And a homeowner's first step against high energy bills is much easier than they may imagine, with the help of Focus on Energy."

Step One - Getting the Answers You Need

Pinpointing poorly performing components of a home such as air leaks and insufficient insulation is key to lowering high energy bills. This is where the technical assistance and expertise of Focus on Energy comes in. With the help of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and the program's partnering consultants and qualified contractors, identifying these problems and their solutions is easier than expected.

The expert consultant will start by inspecting all systems in your home including testing the ventilation, heating and cooling equipment, air infiltration, and insulation levels. Once the evaluation is complete you will receive a comprehensive home evaluation report that identifies any problems, along with recommended solutions. And finding a contractor to complete the projects couldn't be more convenient—your consultant can recommend trusted service providers in your area or you can choose your own contractor who partners with Focus.

"These are real solutions that will save energy and money, in addition to making your home more comfortable, safe, and durable," explained Dedolph.

Step Two - Making the Improvements

Once recommendations have been made, the program's qualified contractors can then implement the energy-efficiency improvements. By working with a program partner you're guaranteed the work will be done to Home Performance with ENERGY STAR standards. In fact, at the end of the project, the consultant will return to re-evaluate the home and verify that the improvements are complete and effective. In addition, you may be eligible to receive Cash-Back Rewards offered through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program.

To be eligible, Wisconsin residents must meet two criteria: their electric and/or natural gas utility or cooperative must participate in the program; and the resident's dwelling must be a detached single-unit dwelling, mobile home, duplex, or three-unit building.

As part of a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program evaluation, a trained technician will conduct a blower door test, which helps identify and quantify the air leakage of a home. Finding and sealing air leaks can reduce heating costs and increase comfort.

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