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May 12, 2015
Home energy audits are becoming increasingly popular. Homeowners realize that energy conservation is important and are taking proactive steps to make sure their home is as energy-efficient as possible. Since home energy audits are becoming prevalent, there is an increasing number of businesses that offer this service. It is important that homeowners who are in the market for a home energy audit hire the best service provider for the job. Following are some tips to help the average Colorado homeowner hire the best energy audit company.
1. Free audits versus credibility
Many companies or organizations offer free or reduced-rate energy audits. If a company presents this offer, take a close look at the fine print for a hidden agenda. Many companies will offer a free or low-cost audit to lure an unsuspecting customer with the intent of selling a high-priced “energy-saving” device. Often these devices need to be installed by the seller, which involves an additional cost. The audits performed by these companies may not comprehensive, and often the homeowner will end up paying more money for the device and installation than they would have for a complete audit from an auditing company.
Sometimes not-for-profit organizations will also offer free or low-cost audits as a public service. Although these organizations are well-meaning, the audits they provide are often cursory in nature. Utility companies are beginning to offer free energy audits as part of their services. This option is better than the other two. However, these audits are usually performed by someone who works for the utility company rather than a qualified auditor. It is best to pay a fair price for the auditing service and hire a company dedicated to providing the most comprehensive information about your energy use.
2. Plenty of experience
Energy audits are precise inspections. They go beyond checking lighting fixtures and suggesting more energy-efficient light bulbs. Technicians who perform energy audits need to have a thorough understanding of many aspects of energy consumption and the household equipment that contributes to energy use. Learning how to perform an energy audit is not something that takes days, weeks, or even months to learn. Becoming a qualified energy audit technician takes years of practice and work at the craft. Even the most experienced technicians constantly learn on the job. Technicians with less experience are more apt to make mistakes or miss steps that can result in overlooking energy-saving opportunities. They may also make suggestions that are not feasible.
Good articulation may not be an immediate thought when considering qualities to look for in an energy audit technician, but it is an important one. An energy audit technician should be articulate because the audit consists of a lot of information that requires clear explanation. A good technician can explain in clear and understandable language the finest points of the audit, and they need to do so succinctly. If a technician is unable to do so, there is a good possibility that the homeowner will misunderstand the results of the audit. As a result, the homeowner may not be able to follow through with the necessary actions to increase the energy-efficiency of the home. Another aspect of an energy audit technician’s job is to write clear reports that include recommendations for homeowners. Since these reports must be memorialized, a technician needs to be able to express thoughts and ideas in a way that is easy for anyone to understand.
Reliability is another important trait for energy audit technicians. Representatives from the auditing company spend a great deal of time entering people’s homes and performing extensive inspections throughout the property. These individuals need to be trustworthy, as they spend a considerable amount of time on the premises. Further, homeowners spend time preparing for an audit, and it is aggravating if a technician does not show up. These types of actions indicate a lack of respect for the homeowner and reflect poorly on the auditing company as a whole. The best auditors keep appointments, arrive on time, can be trusted when left unsupervised and deliver their reports in a timely manner.
Energy auditors are trusted with information that is vital to the health of the earth. Those who work as energy auditors need to be highly principled and must always work in the best interests of the people they work for. Energy auditors must use high ethical standards to avoid making poor decisions that can have serious consequences.
Choosing the right home energy auditor is an important decision that homeowners should carefully consider. It is crucial to work with seasoned professionals who have the skills and experience to provide a meaningful report. This help homeowners make essential changes to save energy – and our natural resources.
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