This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to make an audit pay off.

Posted by Matt
The moving saga continues. We've finished most of the big projects to get our house ready for sale and I've started working on prioritizing our to-do list for the new house. Our housing inspector had a whole list of recommendations (he was VERY thorough), but we only asked the sellers to take care of the major expenses like sewer line replacement and chimney repair.

As I went through the rest of the list, I noticed a number of the items involved insulation. Given that we are entering the cooler months, I think it makes sense to take care of these soon. I'd recommend that every homeowner put their home through an energy audit so that you can find out how to "frugalize" your energy bills (and so that you can do your part to be "green", like everyone else is finally getting around to doing these days).

If you don't feel like you need a full house inspection, look around for free energy audit programs. Our gas company used to provide these and we had one done in a previous home. (I tried to find the link to that old program and it looks like the gas company is now referring to a local energy non-profit called Energy Trust of Oregon.)

When you sign up for an energy audit, an auditor will come out and inspect your house and then give you a detailed report on actions you can take (e.g., adding insulation around pipes), how much they should cost and how much money you can expect to save annually as a result. Amazing. Did I mention this is free? If that's not enough to motivate you, the inspector will also provide free compact fluorescent bulbs (there is also a CFL promotion going on right now) and information on how you can receive significant cash bonuses to offset the cost of the recommended actions. You really don't need to be that handy for many of the recommendations like weatherstripping, pipe insulation, attic insulation, etc.; even hanging a set of heavy drapes can help!

We'll be scheduling our audit for shortly after we move in (I'll try to post our report if I can).
In the meantime, check out these simple ideas for saving energy (and money!) around your house.

Update: 10/05/07: I just read some important warnings about dealing with broken CFL's that I thought I should share, having recommended them above. It was news to me, honest!

No comments: