The concept of a home energy audit hasn’t been around long, but it’s definitely caught on. As demand for energy and concerns over the reliability of electricity grids have grown so has the prevalence of home energy audits.
The idea is simple. A professional who is trained to identify energy waste and possible improvements will go through the entire home notating what they find. The auditor will then give you a detailed report with the findings, explanations of what’s going on, and how to correct it. The report is essentially a blueprint for how to make your home more energy-efficient.
The primary goal of a home energy audit is to find energy inefficiencies so you can correct them and reduce consumption. On the surface that seems like something every homeowner can benefit from, but do you really need a professional home energy audit?
If you’re asking yourself this question, then keep reading for information that may provide the answer.
The Pros and Cons of a Home Energy Audit in 2021
As with any home service, you need to weigh the pros and cons before spending hundreds of dollars on an audit. Although a home energy audit is typically beneficial, the downsides might make some homeowners hold off.
HOME ENERGY AUDIT PROS
A better understanding of how energy efficient your home is currently. The #1 benefit of an audit, no matter what the results are, is knowing if your home is as energy efficient as it could be. Even if the audit reveals the home is very efficient, you’ll have a benchmark for future comparisons.
Know which energy improvements will make the biggest difference. The audit will tell you where energy is wasted and how much a specific improvement can reduce the waste. This breakdown can help you prioritize energy efficiency improvements so that you see results sooner rather than later.
Potential to reduce monthly energy expenses. The reason for all the improvements is to reduce energy use, which should reduce your monthly energy expenses. It’s possible to make low-cost improvements and save enough to cover the cost of the audit and then some.
Help you understand energy use better overall. Once you dig into a home energy audit you’ll learn a lot more about energy use and the information that you see on your electricity bill.
Can help you sell your home. The audit can be used to either show how energy-efficient the home is or highlight improvements that were made and how much energy they save every month.
HOME ENERGY AUDIT CONS
Home energy audits can be expensive. In most areas, a home energy audit isn’t cheap. HomeAdvisor estimates that the 2021 average cost for a home energy audit ranges from $207 to $673. The suggested improvements may not be enough to offset the cost for a couple of years.
The readings, results, or suggested improvements may be inaccurate. Any time someone is interpreting data there is room for error. It’s a very small risk, but there is the potential for inaccurate results and lead to improvements that don’t make much of a difference.
Signs You Should Get a Home Energy Audit
Still not sure if a home energy audit is a good idea this year? There are some indicators that the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks. If the answer is “yes” to one or more of the points below it may be time to contact home energy auditors in your area.
- You haven’t made any energy improvements in a while.
- You’ve made the obvious energy improvements but want to maximize efficiency further.
- You want to improve the energy efficiency of your home but don’t know-how.
- You suspect there is a problem(s) but you can’t identify it on your own.
- Your home feels less comfortable even though you haven’t adjusted the thermostat.
- Your energy bills are going up but there hasn’t been a change in the rate or your usage.
If you plan to add a renewable energy system, like solar panels, a home energy audit is a must. Having a top-level view of your whole home energy use can help you determine the specifics of the system so that you have a sufficient energy supply.
Of course, you don’t have to start out with a professional audit. You can do a DIY home energy audit first, and then decide if you want a more in-depth audit from an expert.
There’s one very good reason for almost every homeowner to consider getting a home energy audit in 2021. The cost of energy isn’t getting cheaper. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that this year electricity rates will increase by 2.2% after dropping last year.
That means even if you use the same amount of electricity you’ll still be paying more in 2021. The only way to offset the increased cost is to use less energy, switch to an energy plan with a better rate, or both.
You don’t have control over the energy rates set by suppliers, but you do have control over which supplier you choose and how much energy is used at your home. For that reason, a home energy audit is recommended for most homeowners in 2021.
No matter how much electricity you use, every kilowatt-hour is cleaner with Verde Energy. Our fixed-rate electricity plans are powered by renewable resources. It’s the energy you can feel good about using!