Energy use, conservation and home energy audits

Energy home inspection

Wagstaff + Rogers Architects are passionate about Green Building. So, as a side effect, energy consumption and conservation is a goal to not only create great sustainable buildings, but will also directly impact your utility bill.

Mapping out heat loss

A home energy audit helps you learn how you use energy, determine where it's being wasted and prioritize your efficiency upgrades. Making energy efficiency upgrades identified in a home energy audit can save 5-30 percent on your monthly energy bill while also ensuring the health and safety of your house.

If you noticed your last few PG&E bills, there was a note stating that they were going to reduce the tier rates from four tiers to three tiers. This actually happened early in 2016. You probably didn’t even notice the tier change from 4 to 3.

PG&E Tiers 2016-17

Now in the beginning of 2017 a surcharge will begin in for residential customers on the tiered rate structure who use more than four times their baseline allowance. The High Usage Surcharge will be increased in 2018 and 2019.

In 2019, most residential electric customers are expected to be transitioned to a Time-of-Use rate plan where the price of electricity will depend on the time of day.

The utility company’s call it a simplification, but for the majority (especially families) it's going to mean a rate increase, and has been since August 2016. The only alternative to paying more for energy is to conserve it. If you implement the items specified in the Energy Audit, the less you will spend on your utility bill, but also have the added effect of better health for doing it.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s new report documents the links between home performance upgrades and homeowner health. Architects are committed to advancing efficient as well as healthy homes, and moving our industry forward so that home improvements maximize the benefits for both people and the beautiful blue sphere we inhabit.

Home is intimately tied to the health and wellbeing of its residents. It is where people go to take care of themselves and seek comfort. People in the United States spend approximately 70% of their time at home, which means that ensuring homes are a healthy refuge is vitally important. Evidence in a new report, Home RX: The Health Benefits of Home Performance, shows that home performance upgrades can improve the quality of a homes indoor environment by reducing the prevalence of harmful indoor air pollutants and contaminants.

This is where we think it becomes important to hire an Energy Auditor for a comprehensive home evaluation.

Energy Audit

Energy Audit Steps

  1. Analyze the past years utility bills to determine base energy consumption.
  2. Interview the homeowner to learn more about specific problems and how the home operates.
  3. Explain the Audit procedure.
  4. Conduct a Health and Safety inspection
  5. Interior & Exterior Visual Inspection
  6. Combustion appliance inspection
  7. Blower door test
  8. Analyze findings and create an Energy Analysis Report

A leaky home will cost money!

The home energy audit will SAVE ENERGY, SAVE MONEY and make your home MORE COMFORTABLE.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments. If you have a suggestion for a future topic leave your idea in the comments area. 

Design for Life.



Good stuff. We badly need to improve our energy conservation on our 90+ year old home. We are going to get hit hard by the PG&E increase. Any suggestions on how to find a good independent energy auditor?

I especially value your explanation of PGE's new Tier rate plan and the connections between saving Energy and making your home more Healthy & Safe. I am recommending your Blog to contractors & other Green Building & Energy colleagues.

Good information! energy audit is an analysis of a facility, indicating how and where that facility can reduce energy consumption and save energy costs.
Happy Energy savings!

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