Following the historic climate deal between the United States and China at the end of 2014, as part of which both countries pledged to curb carbon emissions over the next two decades in order to address global climate change, millions of people around the world have become more conscious of how they use energy on a daily basis.
While many feel a moral obligation to think about how much energy they actually waste, there is also a practical reason for doing so, because reducing the use of energy could actually end up saving money.
That’s why over the last decade, doing a home energy analysis has become more and more popular.
Home Energy Analysis – What Exactly Is It?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home energy analysis is a series of tests and inspections “to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.”
A thorough home energy analysis includes tasks like checking for leaks in the attic at the top of your home barrier, testing effectiveness of insulation inside walls and ceilings, and making sure that energy related equipment is up to date and properly functioning.
Once you have completed the analysis, you can take the results and apply for a certification, such as the well-known “Energy Star,” a voluntary program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy aimed at protecting our climate by rewarding homes that reduce heating and cooling costs, water use, and that improve indoor air quality.
“LEED” (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is another popular certification – created by the private nonprofit “U.S. Green Building Council” – but it usually certifies commercial buildings. Some single-family homes, however, can apply for LEED especially if they save money on resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.
Is it Necessary to Conduct an Energy Audit?
In some U.S. states, a so-called “Home Energy Rating System Index” – the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance – has actually become mandatory as part of selling a new or older home.
In addition to following the law, there is another upside to conducting a home energy analysis, namely that the value of your property increases when you can prove that it is energy efficient.
In fact, a recent study conducted by economists at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles showed that homes with a green certification sold for 9 percent more than comparable, non-labeled homes. Based on a $400,000 average, that translated into an added $34,800 in sales value.
There are three main reasons why energy efficiency results in this added value:
1- It appeals to an affluent population, who puts high value on environment-friendly features and is willing to pay a premium for it.
2- The more practical minded buyers, after doing the math, will agree that it is undeniably going to reduce their energy bills at a significant rate now and in the long run, making their overall investment into the property much more worthwhile.
3- With the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy cracking down on polluters in the fight against climate change, it is only a question of time until energy-efficiency becomes the law of the land. By that point, homes that did not invest into modern equipment or secure any kind of energy certification, such as LEED or the Energy Star, might drop in value compared to their energy-saving counterparts.
How to Perform a Home Energy Analysis
Until recently, one of the only ways to conduct a home energy analysis was to hire a local auditor or technician, who would pay you a visit to inspect your home.
Thanks to the Internet, however, you can avoid the hassle and simply download Homeselfe’s mobile app, which creates a digital mock-up of your home and guides you through the key areas that contribute to your monthly energy bills. This will help you get an instant report, which breaks down the energy efficiency of your home as well as the priority of energy upgrades.
Needless to say, it might be time for you to consider doing a home energy analysis. It will not only be worth your time, but also save you money.