From Engineering on August 11, 2011 in Energy Efficiency
San Carlos resident Nadine Nakazawa took all the steps needed to make her home more energy efficient… or so she thought.
Double-paned replacement windows were installed throughout her home. Then a residential solar array went up on the roof. And just to be sure there wasnt anything else she could do to cut energy costs, Nakazawa requested a home energy assessment from the Energy Upgrade California program, a one-stop shop for consumers interested in energy-efficient upgrades.
Nakazawa decided to participate in the program, choosing the Advanced Package program option, which includes a home energy assessment. She was shocked by the results. The contractor discovered mold underneath the home, in the crawl space. Worse, the mold was eating its way into her house.
In addition, the assessment revealed that there was a leak in the ducts of the homes heating system, representing a substantial amount of heat loss.
To get your home checked out for possible improvements, click here.
The contractor used a vapor barrier to seal the crawl space, and replaced the duct system for Nakazawas central heating. They also added insulation to the attic. Nakazawa immediately noticed an improvement in the temperature in her home, stating that her home felt like it was warm for the first time that season.
Nakazawa also noticed an improvement in her heating bills. Her gas bills dropped 40% to 50%. The Bay Area resident got one more unexpected bonus. The dollar amount of the remodeling rebates available through the package program had just doubled. San Mateo County residents can take advantage of the double-rebate program while funds last, or until the end of the year, whichever comes first. Then the program will revert to the original program rebate rate.
Conserving Energy in California
Advances in green technology and in financing options that make it affordable are becoming such a common occurrence these days that even the most fervent advocate of energy conservation can find it hard to keep up with them all. Case in point: Energy Upgrade California.
Energy Upgrade California is a coalition of California counties, cities, non-profit organizations and utilities that links consumers with approved contractors. The goal is to provide information about all the state energy efficiency upgrade, rebates, and incentive programs that are currently available.
The Basic Package offered at Energy Upgrade California consists of a list of upgrades that can make a home 10% more energy efficient, with rebates of up to $2,000. The Advanced Package that Nakazawa chose, which is intended for more extensive upgrades, entitles her to up to $8,000 in rebates.
Launched in March of 2011, the coalition was formed through a partnership between the Department of Energy, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission. The program is funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and utility ratepayer funds.
The Energy Upgrade California website not only has all the details about the two package programs, but provides easy access to all of the numerous rebates available in particular areas of the state. Simply enter a zip code for a complete and current list.
Photo via Houzz