SO COLD! Could a "Home Energy Assessment" be what the doctor ordered?

This post brought to you by Santa Clara County’s 80% Home Energy Assessment Rebate. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lately, it's been really, really cold in our apartment! I've been cranking up our heaters and I know for sure that come January, our energy bill will be INSANE! I guess that's one of the disadvantages in renting-- not being able to take part in energy assessment programs that can help ease up utility bills and make people's homes more healthy and comfortable. Lucky for Santa Clara County residents because for a limited time, Santa Clara County is offering Santa Clara County homeowners healthy rebates that cover 80% of the cost of a home energy assessment performed by a participating contractor. That is a BIG help in understanding consumer utility bill costs; which in turn, can help them save money in the future! Not to mention making our homes more energy efficient is a great way to contribute in being green! God know, Mother Earth needs all the help she can get and every small act counts.

Setting up a home energy assessment is painless. Follow these simple steps:

1. Choose a participating contractor. Visit sccgov.org/energyupgrades for a list of participating contractors.

2. Complete your energy assessment.

3. Enjoy your 80% savings!

You and your contractor will discuss the results of your energy assessment and decide if you would like to complete the energy efficiency improvements suggested and collect more rebates! If you were to ask me, that's a winning combination all the way. Way to go Santa Clara County!

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What is an energy assessment?

A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, determines how much energy your home consumes and suggests measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of energy – and money – over time. During the assessment, your contractor can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Energy assessments also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. Most homes loose up to 30% of its heating through faulty ducts. Poor insulation is another common cause of heat loss. An assessment may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. A participating contractor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough assessments by a participating contractor will use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation. After the tests, your contractor will discuss the results of the assessment with you as well as explain the upgrade available to make your home more energy efficient. If you complete the improvements suggested by the assessment results and your participating contractor, you may be eligible for additional rebates up to $4,000. Learn how by visiting http://www.EnergyUpgradeCa.org

Why is an energy assessment important?

Just like you go to your doctor for a physical, a home energy assessment is critical to the comfort and health of your home and serves as an “Exercise plan” toward making your home more energy efficient. A more energy efficient home not only saves you money, but it improves the comfort, health and air quality of your home. Rather than self-diagnosing your drafty home by replacing old windows at a high cost, why not first find out if your home isn’t wasting more energy through the air ducts or ceiling? Just like you wouldn’t exercise all day and eat a chocolate cake for dinner, why make home improvements that will literally leak your investment out the window? Or, if you have considered solar panels, your first step should be to make sure your home is thoroughly sealed to maximize the effectiveness of your solar panels and minimize the cost of your solar investment.

Do I qualify to receive an energy assessment rebate?

To qualify for the 80% home assessment rebate you must: Own a single family, detached home in Santa Clara County Use an Energy Upgrade California participating contractor Energy assessment rebates are paid up to $800 and must be paid directly to the participating contractor. If you decide to proceed with the recommended upgrades and receive additional rebates up to $4,000, you are further eligible for the “test-out” assessment rebate administered by Santa Clara County.

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