The Department of Energy recommends that you conduct an energy audit before making any energy efficient upgrades to your home. An energy audit, also known as an energy assessment, helps you learn more about your energy consumption at home. The results of an audit will reveal the amount of energy you use, how you are wasting energy, and what steps you can take to save energy.
In other words, an audit can help you identify opportunities to reduce your energy consumption and lower your monthly utility bills. But how much does a home energy audit cost? Here’s what you should know:
How Much Does A Home Energy Audit Cost Per Square Foot?
Some professional energy auditors price their services by the square foot. This is because the bigger the house is, the more work that an auditor will need to perform to complete their assessment.
The average cost of a home energy audit ranges from $0.12 to $0.35 per square foot. Based on these numbers, here’s how much it would cost to perform an energy audit on some of the most common home sizes:
- 1,200 square foot home: $144-$420
- 1,500 square foot home: $180-$525
- 2,000 square foot home: $240-$700
- 2,600 square foot home: $312-$910
- 3,000 square foot home: $360-$1,050
How Much Does A Home Energy Audit Cost By Type?
The price of a home energy assessment can also vary by the type of audit performed. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recognizes three different types of home energy audits.
The first is an ASHRAE level 1 assessment, which is the most basic type of audit. A level 1 assessment is also referred to as a walk-through because the auditor simply walks through the space to visually evaluate how it uses energy. The auditor may also discuss energy concerns with the homeowner and review the homeowner’s utility bills as part of a level 1 assessment. The average cost of a level 1 energy audit is between $0.08 and $0.12 per square foot.
The next type is the ASHRAE level 2 assessment, which is more extensive than a level 1 assessment. In addition to a visual inspection, a level 2 assessment also includes an evaluation of how individual appliances and other equipment use energy. The auditor will also prepare a list of energy efficient upgrades that the homeowner should make and include the estimated cost of making these upgrades. A level 2 assessment can cost between $0.12 to $0.35 per square foot.
The final type is the ASHRAE level 3 assessment. This level includes everything from a level 1 and level 2 assessment in addition to comprehensive analyses, surveys, and an evaluation of the heating and cooling system’s energy usage. Because it is so complex, this type of energy assessment is usually performed on commercial buildings. But if you would like a level 3 assessment for your home, it will cost between $0.36 to $0.50 per square foot.
If you plan on hiring a professional to conduct an audit, make sure you understand which level of assessment the auditor is performing. This way, you can estimate the cost of your audit in advance.
How Can You Lower the Cost of A Home Energy Audit?
There are two ways to lower the cost of a home energy audit. The first is asking your utility company if they provide low-cost or free energy assessments. Some utility companies will provide this service for free or recommend professionals who conduct audits at lower rates.
- Download the app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Answer basic questions about your energy consumption. The app will guide you through your home room-by-room and ask simple questions about your appliances, heating and cooling use, and lifestyle.
- Review the list of recommendations. The app will personalize a list of energy efficient recommendations based on your answers to the questions. This list will tell you what improvements you should make, which ones you should make first, and how much you can save by making each one.
- Take advantage of rebates. The app will also provide you with a list of energy efficiency rebates that you may qualify for in your area.
That’s all it takes to conduct a home energy audit for free. You can complete the entire assessment in as little as five minutes without a professional’s help. Then, you can start making energy efficient upgrades to your home so you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint.