It’s probably safe to assume that by now, you’ve heard about Mass Save home energy assessments. After all, it seems like every energy efficiency contractor in the state is talking about them. The idea is simple: a home energy auditor comes to your home and assesses your energy needs, and provides you with energy-saving products at no cost to you.
But hold on – that just seems too good to be true, and that makes many homeowners hesitate. What’s the catch?
What Your Home Energy Auditor May Not Tell You
Is It Free?
You may have noticed that every advertisement you see or hear about home energy assessments will use the phrase “no-cost.” You may have also noticed that they never use the word “free.” So what does that mean – are they pulling a bait and switch? After you have the assessment done, will you receive a surprise bill? Even if you ask a contractor directly, they may answer with a vague, “It’s no-cost.” What does that mean?
We understand your frustration! Here’s the deal: we won’t tell you that your assessment is “free” because that would be a lie. But there is no upfront cost, and you won’t receive a bill later. Why? Because you’re already paying for it! Take a look at your most recent utility bill – do you see the “energy efficiency” charge? You pay this charge each month to fund Mass Save, Massachusetts’s efficiency initiative. The money goes toward energy assessments as well as efficiency incentives for homeowners across the state.
So if you’re already paying for it, why not get an assessment? There is no upfront cost; it will simply help you to understand your home’s energy needs and give you some immediate energy savings.
What Happens During an Assessment?
If you’re considering an assessment, you may want to dig into the details: what’s included, how long will it take, and who is going to be in your home?
Keep in mind that to perform a Mass Save energy audit, the contractor must be a Mass Save Partner. That means that Mass Save has already deemed them to be qualified professionals, which takes some of the burden of worry off of you.
During the assessment, an auditor will come to your home and inspect for energy efficiency – particularly areas that are inefficient. They will perform several tests, including safety tests on your heating system, thermal imaging if applicable, and a blower door test.
But the best part of the audit is the goodies you’ll get! Your auditor will provide you with no-cost energy efficient upgrades during your assessment, including LED light bulbs to replace incandescent ones, smart power strips, and a programmable thermostat, so you’ll start saving energy on day one!
The process will take about two hours for an average sized home but may take up to four hours for larger homes. Someone will need to be home while the audit is being conducted.
What Happens Next?
So your auditor comes into your home, performs some tests, provides you with some on-the-spot upgrades… and then what?
This is where the real value of your assessment comes in. You will be provided with a full report of your energy efficiency opportunities. This will be unique to your home and the inefficiencies that your auditor found there, and it will include recommendations for next steps.
These may include simple options like air and duct sealing or more intensive fixes such as insulation or HVAC upgrades. Once you know where your home is wasting energy and the options you have to fix these issues, what comes next is up to you.
You may decide to move forward with upgrades right away, in which case many contractors will be able to assist you. It’s important to know that most of these options are not covered under the no-cost energy assessment, so you will be hiring a contractor to complete the work. You can also choose not to have the upgrades done right away, although we do recommend getting them done as quickly as possible so you can start saving money on your utility bills!
For many homeowners, the cost of making upgrades is daunting. The good news? Mass Save has you covered with rebates and incentives designed to make energy efficiency easy. And if you decide to work with Energy Monster, we make it even easier by finding incentives you’re eligible for – and filling out the paperwork!
Is It Worth It?
Yes, yes, yes!
We cannot stress this enough. Knowing how your home is using energy and taking steps to reduce waste will always be worth it. You’ll immediately reduce waste and your impact on the environment, and saving energy will also lead to savings on your energy bill!
We do want to emphasize that the value you’ll get out of your audit will depend on your home. A homeowner living in a brand new home that is already efficient may not have as much to gain as a homeowner living in an old, historic home with lots of drafts. Despite that, everyone has something to gain by understanding their home and making necessary upgrades.
Taking the Next Step
While we understand the hesitation that many homeowners have when it comes to energy audits, we hope that we have been able to address some of your fears. We strive to be open and honest with the homeowners we serve, and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have about the energy assessment process.
Are you ready to take the next step? Energy Monster is a qualified Mass Save Partner and we would love to work with you to address your home’s energy needs. Contact us today to schedule your home energy assessment!