- Home performance is a comprehensive whole house or whole building approach to identifying and fixing comfort and energy efficient problems.
- When your home is being assessed, it is important to hire a contractor (ideally, a general contractor) that is BPI Certified. This means that the contractor has passed the standards and testing by the Building Performance Institute.
Follow these proper steps to save you money
- Have your home assessed for energy efficiency. This audit will highlight lower cost efficiency upgrades. Do these first. Then, have your home sized for solar.
- Following this process can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary solar panels, thereby reducing your overall cost.
- Solar systems still qualify for a 30% tax credit!
- Business and residential customers can earn significant rebates from PG&E or SMUD and other utilities by buying energy efficient equipment and appliances as well as retrofitting your home for energy efficiency. Check your local utility company for current details. The SMUD energy efficient equipment page is here.
- At the time of this writing SMUD is offering programs on energy efficient home retrofits up to $9,000 dollars! Go to the SMUD rebates page to learn more: SMUD home energy efficiency program page for more information.
- All Energy Star products qualify for a tax credit.
Go the the Energy Star rebates & incentives page for more information.
- The IRS gives up to a 30% tax credit for solar systems and hot water solar system purchases.
According to the 2007 Energy Data Book, heating accounts for the biggest piece of your utility bill.
31% – Space Heating
12% – Space Cooling
12% – Water Heating
11% – Lighting
9% – Computers & Electronics
9% – Appliances
8% – Refrigerator
8% – Other
- Buy a plug-in electric car and you can get up to a $2500 tax credit or more. Check Energy.gov for details.
- Get a 30% tax credit for solar systems, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines… this credit expires in 2016.
- Check your states taxing authority to see if state credits are available.
- Check with your local energy company!
Trees, shrubs and vines can be a great way to cut your energy costs. Placed carefully, air temperatures can be approximately 3-6 degrees cooler, according to EnergySavers.gov
- An energy audit or assessment should be done by a Certified Building Performance Institute Inspector and consists of a whole home assessment of energy usage and efficiency.
- Utilizing scientific tools and equipment, your home is inspected and tested on many aspects including air flow, insulation, widow efficiency, a/c and heating furnaces.
If you have a home built before 1980, there is an 80% chance it is under-insulated.
Are these symptoms present?
- You are cold in winter
- You are hot in summer
- Your energy bills are high
- Your heater or A/C unit runs all the time
- New homes have better insulation, but it never hurts to check and see if it was installed correctly, especially if you bought a home during the real estate boom.
In most cases, YES. Most homeowners see huge savings with tankless water heaters. Some up to 30% savings.
Studies from several municipal utility companies prove that enhancements for energy efficiency can save homeowners hundreds of dollars each month.
Little things like weather stripping doors and windows, swapping out light bulbs for CFL Fluorescents, and upgrading appliances can save thousands over the course of a year or two.
Installing solar systems or PV (photo-voltaic) systems can reduce energy bills to nothing, breaking even within several years in some cases.