How Much Energy Can You Save for $75?

An energy efficiency inspection costs $75 but quickly pays for itself, according to UI officials.

First Selectman Tim Herbst is making good on his promise to cut energy costs, and hopes others will follow in his footsteps.

The process took place at Herbst's home on Fairview Avenue recently, starting with United Illuminated Holdings and HE-Energy Solutions installing a fan to suck air from the home. The incoming air rushed back in from all nooks and crannies of the home that weren't properly sealed.

"The first selectman signed up. Our objective here is to get the town on board with this program," said Vivian Gutman Perez of HE-Energy.

When the leaks were found, HE-Energy attached blue painters tape to the areas leaking air. And there were many, from behind the refrigerator to the fireplace and the attic of Herbst's 1966 split-level home.

HE-Energy workers were going to seal all the cracks, replace inefficient bulbs and install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. The program also offers rebates for bigger jobs such as windows and new, energy efficient appliances.


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Each assessment lasts about three to four hours.

Herbst said he sunk $75,000 into the home, from windows to floors. He and his family cleaned out the house and gutted several rooms after he bought it November 2010. The renovations took four months, according to the first selectman.

Herbst also recently signed a pledge to make town buildings energy efficient over the next several years.

The firm and UIL have already performed similar jobs in Bridgeport homes, many of which are energy-inefficient balloon-frame construction. They say have served 10,000 customers and typically save homeowners 10 to 15 percent.

Herbst said he saved 12 percent. 

The program is partly funded by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. To arrange for a test, go to the Website or call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873).

Jim Sullivan September 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Having an energy audit of his home is commendable. The payback on the $75 should be pretty quick. Per the article, I hope there are funds, grant or otherwise, to fund the audit of his home away from home…Town Hall (other municipal & school buildings as well). With a quick google search one can see the efforts of other CT towns. There are others… Town Hall, Essex, CT: http://www.essexct.gov/articles/town_hall_energy%20Audit.pdf Town Hall, Willington, CT: http://www.willingtonct.org/public_documents/willingtonct_energy/Articles/Town%20Office%20Building%20Energy%20Audit.pdf Town Hall, Glastonbury, CT: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=labeled_buildings.showProfile&profile_id=1008652 Other efforts… Coventry, CT: http://www.coventryct.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BA3BB2E1D-23AC-4907-8346-0707B71A76F8%7D Wallingford, CT: http://www.myrecordjournal.com/wallingford/article_b2655d1a-af5b-11e1-81e6-001a4bcf887a.html
Mr D. September 05, 2012 at 05:33 PM
An energy audit is a good place to start. There are some things one can do that will have an immediate impact: - caulk your windows - weatherstrips on doors - programmable thermostats - double the attic insulation Those simple steps when I bought my house resulted into an immediate 20% reduction in heating costs! Some other things you can do as part of regular maintenance rather than all at once: - when a bulb dies, replace it with an efficient bulbs (CFLs are much nicer these days) - when an appliance becomes too expensive to fix, get a low-energy, low water use one. Low water use is also a plus if you have a septic tank. - when your boiler or AC dies (they last about 20 years) get an efficient replacement - double glazed low-e windows pay for themselves in 8 to 10 years Some improvements that get plenty of press but don't make much sense from a purely economic standpoint (unless you're building a new house) (based on my own calculations) are solar panels and geothermal heat pumps.
Crishmartin September 27, 2012 at 07:08 AM
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