What is the free home energy audit?
An energy audit is a home inspection that calculates the total energy consumption of your house, including all electricity and fossil fuels for lighting, appliances, heating and cooling, and apparently Canadians are going to soon be eligible for free home energy audits, net zero home grants & interest-free home retrofit Loans in 2020 if the Liberal's 2019 election promises come to fruition.
How is an energy audit conducted?
The depth of the audit will depend on what services you have asked an auditor to perform. If you are conducting a home energy audit in order to qualify for green home renovation tax credits and financial incentives, you will need to meet the requirements laid out in whatever government-funded green building program you are trying to participate in.
But your average garden variety home energy audit will likely include an inspection of your home insulation, including finished and unfinished basements, seeing how it is insulated, the level of attic insulation, the quality of your windows, and a blower door test to see how much heat loss there is from air leaks.
Are energy audits free for Canadians?
Energy audits for government green home renovation programs are in some cases free, (free, as in paid for with your tax dollars). Sometimes an energy audit will be subsidized to a certain percentage, it will depend entirely on the program you are trying to participate in.
How much does it cost to have an energy audit?
Conducting an energy audit on an average-sized single family home will take about three or four hours to conduct and will likely cost you between $225 and $400 USD at full price, or about $300 and $500 CAD, depending on the size of your home.
But don’t think of an energy audit on your house as an expense, think of it as a means to an end towards saving money on energy. And a real bonus that not many people think about – an energy-efficient house is a more comfortable house.
If your walls are better insulated and if you have better quality windows and you seal up air leaks so there are no drafts, you don’t only save money, you will have a more comfortable home. Read more here about how to design a home for thermal comfort.
So even if this isn’t about tapping into an energy saving green home tax credit, it is money that will likely be returned to you in very short order.
How do you do an energy audit?
You would need to hire a professional to conduct an accurate energy audit, but in the absence of that, you can do an assessment on your own of some of the same things that a professional auditor would look at.
It would of course be a bit of a stretch to call snooping around your house an ‘energy audit’, but hey…put on some overalls and a hard hat, grab a clip board and get into character because its always wise to take a close look around your house to make sure all is in order. Finding small problems before they become big problems will help keep your home maintenance costs to a minimum.
Here is a short list of things to look for, but if something in your house is starting to concern you (sounds, smells, drafts, insects, goblins or spirits), just pop a keyword into our search box at the top of every page, check out our green building guide pages, or ask a pro for advice.
Below are a few pages on home maintenance that will help you get do some amateur forensic work and get your house working in top order. and if you are one of the masses that prefer watching to reading, then check out our YouTube channel home renovation DIY videos.
- How to insulate attics properly
- When to replace old windows when renovating and when to repair them
- How much insulation does a basement need?
- Best Energy Saving Tips for Green Homes - 10 Tips
What is home energy modelling?
Home energy modeling is conducted prior to building to anticipate future energy costs. It is also called home energy modelling sometimes, depending on how much you like L’s :).
But don’t confuse energy modeling with energy audits, that’s a before and after thing. If you are doing a new home build or building a home addition, then energy modeling is a great thing to do first, it is a pre-emptive strike against needed to jump through the hoops of green home building incentives in order to correct things that would have been better done from the start!