Save money with Community Energy Challenge

Published on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 by Emily Larson Kubiak, Sustainable Connections

Read More News

Spring is a time for taking stock and making fresh starts. 

Long considered prime season for housekeeping and cleaning, it is also a perfect time to think about improving the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. 

The winter that just passed gave us the opportunity to experience a firsthand reminder as to which bedroom never seems to 
warm up even when the heat is on full blast, which spot on the sofa gets the draft from the window and just how high your energy bill can climb.

With this information fresh in mind, now is a great time to take steps to address any issues that are compromising your comfort and energy bills so you can have upgrades completed before the next cold season hits.

A local weatherization and energy-efficiency program, the Community Energy Challenge (CEC), helps homeowners address these issues and save money on making energy-saving improvements by providing expert guidance and financial incentives. Over 1,400 households have participated since the program began four years ago.

It starts with a home energy assessment, where a certified energy analyst performs an in-depth inspection of your home. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, they will assess the effectiveness of your insulation, detect air leaks, determine the condition of your appliances and ductwork and identify any other opportunities to cut back your energy bills and increase your comfort. They will also listen to your concerns about chilly back rooms and drafty windows to get a complete picture of the issues in your home. 

“Our home energy analyst was amazing!” said one CEC participant in a follow-up survey. “Professional, passionate and 
patient. He acted like no question was a dumb question, and we asked a lot of questions!”

After the assessment, participants will receive a detailed report outlining all of the opportunities to make improvements in their home. They will also have a consultation with the analyst, who can give impartial advice to help choose the best combination of cost-effective upgrades with the greatest impact on energy bills and that fit within the resident’s goals and budget. 

The analyst can also suggest qualified local contractors to complete the work and financial incentives from the utilities companies, as well as exclusive incentives for CEC participants. These incentives are covering an average of 32 percent of project costs on work done through the program.

A comprehensive home energy assessment usually costs around $600, but through the CEC it is only $195. If any upgrades with the program are completed, participants will receive a rebate of half the assessment fee. After making efficiency improvements with the CEC, homeowners are saving an average of $477 per year. It has never been easier or more affordable to save energy in our homes!

In the words of a satisfied CEC participant, “Our home gets warm faster and stays warm longer. It’s cheaper to heat; cozier and cheaper! What could be better?”