Home energy audits gain believers

The practice of performing energy audits using money tapped from the public sector continues to spread.

Thurston County in Washington state recently won a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant and is offering individual analysis of homes for as low as $95, according to a story by John Dodge in the Olympian. The service comes by way of Thurston Energy, a program offered by the Thurston Climate Action Team and Thurston County Economic Development Council.

Dodge wrote that after a four-hour audit of a home, Bernie Miller of Quality Renovation and Carpentry found significant savings for the homeowners of a 1913 home if they insulate around the base of the basement, replace their old hot water heater and insulate the duct work for their natural gas heating system.

“This program is definitely going to keep me busy,” Miller told Dodge. “I’m already looking to bring another employee on board.”

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization likewise is interested in energy efficiency. It one of the group's main directives and part and parcel of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Program allocations that the SJVCEO is working on with 39 Valley jurisdictions.

The SJVCEO also is also interested in expanding its efforts into the residential realm. The goal would be similar to that of Thurston County, which links homeowners with reasonably priced audits through the private sector.

The preferred method by SJVCEO is dubbed "whole house" and takes into consideration the entire building along with its heating, cooling and lighting systems.

The SJVCEO is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.