Behind the scenes of a Quick Home Energy Check-up
Are you looking for quick, easy, no-cost ways to save energy in your home? A Quick Home Energy Check-up (QHEC) is your answer.
Cabin John resident, Jamie Pierce, made her QHEC appointment last October. Follow along as we take you on this behind-the-scenes look at what you can expect through the QHEC.
Step 1. Make an appointment.
Step 2: What to expect when they arrive.
A trained energy contractor will arrive at your door at the initially agreed-upon time. The process takes about an hour. As seen in the video, there is a quick look through the home, during which time an auditor will address any issues the home might have with energy.
Step 3: What do you get?
During her audit, Pierce received two showerheads, 10 light fixtures, and a power strip with more efficient versions. She said she expects the savings to begin accumulating soon. Take a look to find out other key items you receive during the QHEC:
The contractor walks through your house to identify potential lighting upgrade opportunities, replacing incandescent bulbs with higher-efficiency versions. “They look at ways in which you can institute things like energy-saving lighting,” Pierce said.
Contractors can do a number of installations that can help the homeowner save water. Here, the contractor walks through your house and replaces, as needed, showerheads with lower-flow versions. If you have a handheld shower attachment in your bathroom, the auditor can install a version that uses, on average, one gallon of water less per minute.
Another option is the shower starter, which the contractor installs between the pipe and the showerhead. Particularly helpful in cases where it takes a long time for showers to heat up, shower starters delay the flow of water until it has reached the desired temperature.
Faucet aerators also help save water at the sink. Each aerator easily screws into the existing sink fixture.“I know the flow of water is better,” Pierce said. “I do feel I’ve reduced my water usage…I feel good about it and about my new energy and water footprint.
Smart powerstrips are used primarily with television and related equipment. Smart powerstrips can sense when you turn off your television and cuts of the current to the other devices that are connected to the strip, such as the cable box, DVD player, video game systems, and similar items. Even when these devices are off, they can still use some electricity.
Step 4. How much does it cost?
If you pay an electric bill in Montgomery County, you do not need to pay any extra to schedule a QHEC, because the cost of the check-up is already included in your electric bill. All items installed during the QHEC also are provided at no additional cost.
Step 5. See the Savings
Contractors provide customers with a detailed report that offers ideas for larger projects and more opportunities for deeper savings. This includes home-improvement projects and various energy-savings programs for which a homeowner may be eligible. Each potential program or project is listed in an easily accessible format, including easy-to-understand estimates of initial costs, efforts required, and savings.
This blog post was written by Scott Harris, in collaboration with DEP Staff. Scott is a freelance writer who lives in Montgomery County and covers the environment and other topics.