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First person: Home energy assessment simple, easy, helpful for CUB lawyer

By Eric DeBellis
CUB Regulatory Counsel

Eric DeBellis–not in his work clothes.

As a lawyer at CUB and a new homeowner, I figured I ought to practice what I preach, so I signed up for a home energy audit through my utility this winter. My experience was simple, easy, and helpful.

An energy efficiency technician from Franklin Energy called me 45 minutes before arriving to confirm his ETA. Upon arrival, he handed me a box of weather-stripping for the door, a shower timer (my wife would attest I needed that!), and information on rebates for various efficiency products and services.

He and his associate toured each room of the house and noted what equipment he’d need from his truck. He returned a few minutes later and methodically went down his to-do list, which included:

An efficiency technician installs insulation around a pipe near the water heater in Eric’s home.

Install pipe insulation on the water heater pipes. Check.

Replace every non-LED/CFL or burned out bulb. Check.

Check the bathroom for  shower aerator. Check. (We have one, otherwise he would have installed that free of charge as well.)

Check windows and appliances to make sure they are up-to-date and efficient. Check.

As a professional energy policy wonk who’s spent the last month playing handyman in our new house, I had a lot of questions regarding insulation and the various projects I have been undertaking to reduce drafts.

One tip he provided that I am embarrassed to admit I never knew: In the winter, you can run the fan clockwise so it pulls cold air up, pushing warm air down. I was today years old when I learned that! (And I just found out that CUB even produced a video on this very topic.)

The technicians were friendly and professional, and the whole audit only took about an hour. Afterwards, I received the report via email. I highly recommend the home energy assessment. For more information, about this and other programs, visit CUB’s Clean Energy page, and read this WatchBlog article.