Free Energy Consult Helps Homeowners Plan Ahead
Homeowners come to energy efficiency along all different paths. Lee from South Portland, Maine had been thinking about it for years, but her preliminary research made the process seem overwhelming. When she learned that Evergreen Home Performance offers a free one-hour consult, she jumped at the opportunity to explore the possibilities with Energy Advisor Audrey Rolio.
Evergreen offers the free one-hour consults as a service to homeowners. "The laws of physics are constant, but the way they play out in your home depends on many factors," said Richard Burbank. Burbank is the founder and president of the Rockland, Maine energy efficiency audits & contracting company, which was named the 2012 Pen Bay Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.
"Our experience with building science and Maine homes, along with infrared analysis, means we can identify your home's basic challenges during that one-hour consult, and we're happy to share that information with homeowners," Burbank continued.
As Lee showed Rolio and Burbank around the house she’s lived in for twelve years, she realized how much her home’s efficiency challenges have shaped the way she uses her space. “I spend all my time in the back room in the winter, because it’s the only place that’s warm,” she explained. “The consult revealed issues I hadn’t anticipated and really helped me make sense of my home.”
The free consult helped Lee realize how serious she is about energy efficiency, so she requested a full energy audit. During the audit, Evergreen used a blower door test to evaluate air leakage and an infrared analysis to identify areas of heat loss. Since Evergreen needs this information to engineer a comprehensive efficiency upgrade, there is no charge for the audit. “The process was much more physical than I expected,” said Lee, “and I learned so much. I knew the basement was freezing cold, for example, but I didn’t realize that the air was actually coming in through the uninsulated foundation walls.”
Evergreen created an energy model of Lee’s house, and then modeled the impact of a range of potential improvements so she could help Lee prioritize them in terms of energy- and cost-efficiency. “Evergreen encouraged me to make a checklist of what I want to do this year, next year, and the next year… Now I have a plan that I didn’t have the information to make on my own.”