Giving the gift of comfort: Government-backed home energy audits an unexpected green gift idea
It’s the proverbial gift that will keep on giving – a home energy assessment from BetterBuildings for Michigan, a government-backed program created to help southeast Michigan homeowners use less energy and save on utility bills.
The assessments, also known as energy audits, cost only $100 – far less than the typical price of $350 for such inspections. The difference is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant that has provided energy audits in more than 6,000 Michigan homes and has fewer than 1,000 still available in southeast Michigan.
The energy audit starts with a comprehensive assessment by a Certified Building Analyst who pinpoints where homes are losing energy. The audit helps homeowners learn more about their home, often uncovering unexpected places where the home wastes energy. Installation of energy-saving lightbulbs, showerheads, faucets and a programmable thermostat is also included in the cost of the audit.
After the audit, residents receive a complete report that helps them prioritize energy-efficient improvements in their home and incentives to help them complete these improvements if they choose to do so. A typical homeowner saves $230 per year on energy bills after participating in the program.
“A BetterBuildings for Michigan energy assessment would make an ideal gift for virtually anyone who owns a home, especially new homeowners and anyone who lives in an older house. It will help make their living space more comfortable and also reduce our impact on the environment,” said Jacob Corvidae, co-director of the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.
Those who want to purchase a home energy assessment as a gift or learn more about the BetterBuildings for Michigan program can call 313-566-4801, email info@MIHomeEnergy.org or visit MIHomeEnergy.org.
Residents of these municipalities are eligible for special incentives through BetterBuildings for Michigan: Detroit, Eastpointe, Farmington, Ferndale, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Hazel Park, Highland Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Mount Clemens, River Rouge, Roseville, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores, South Lyon, Southgate, Sterling Heights, Wayne, and all communities in Washtenaw County.
Anyone in southeast Michigan can receive an energy audit for $100 through the program but may not be eligible for the additional lightbulbs, programmable thermostat and post-audit incentives.