Stimulus Funded: Home Community Energy Audit Program
The city of Scottsdale directed the Home energy Audit program by utilizing funds from the United States Department of Energy Grant program.
The energy audit program was completed in September of 2012. A total of 246 homes were audited that covered 448,983 of livable space. The audits contained 14 recommendations for improvements to one or all the homes to reduce energy use and cost. Following each of the recommendations a homeowner can save roughly between $100 to $500 or more annually in utility costs and reduce the homes carbon footprint by as much 2.7 tons of emissions. The targeted homes were built from 1950 to 2000, 1967 being the average age built. The average square footage of the homes is 1825.
The 14 recommendations have been separated into three categories with level 1 being the least expensive to level 3 having the highest initial cost while yielding the greatest future energy cost savings.
Level 1 – 1% to 7% annual utility cost savings
- Change out all less efficient light bulbs with CFL’s (Compact Florescent Lights)
- Install a programmable thermostat for each mechanical unit to regulate air temperature throughout the day.
- Address possible Safety Combustion issues (install proper ventilation system for gas water heaters and gas appliances).
- Install shade coverings for all windows with direct sun exposure (use shutters, screen material, or even trees to shade windows from the sun).
- Seal mechanical duct work (remove supply air and return air register vents and seal all openings between metal duct work and sheet rock with caulking).
Level 2 – 2% to 10% annual cost savings
* A contractor may be needed for these types of improvements
- Replace household appliances with new Energy Star rated appliances.
- Establish a constant return air pathway – at the bottom of all interior doors, provide ample spacing above the floor to allow air flow even when the doors are closed.
- Install a fresh air kit for the air conditioning unit.
- Seal all joint in the mechanical duct work and thoroughly insulate the duct work in the attic.
Level 3 – 3% to 15% annual utility cost savings
*A contractor may be needed for these types of improvements
- Install additional attic insulation to achieve an R-30 rating – insulation can either be blown in as loose fill, or placed using batt-fill insulation.
- Add insulation to all exterior concrete/masonry block walls to equal a R-6 rating – This improvement can be accomplished adding Styrofoam and stucco system to the outside of the exterior walls or have insulation blown or pumped into the hollow cells of the exterior block walls.
- Replace all single pane windows with dual pane Low E vinyl windows.
- Replace storage tank style water heaters with an On Demand water heater.
- Replace existing air conditioner unit with a new minimum 13 SEER or greater variable speed air conditioner.
Frequency of typical recommendations for all 246 homes audited.
If you would like to go one step further in reducing your annual energy use, consider installing a solar water heating system and/or photo voltaic panels.
For further information to reduce energy costs please visit the U.S. Department of Energy at: http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-savers-guide-tips-saving-money-and-energy-homeFor a downloadable guide please visit:
7447 E. Indian School Road, Suite 125
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Subscribe to Green Building