Home energy audit program helps Minneapolis homeowners save thousands
Minneapolis celebrated yet another milestone in converting federal stimulus dollars into real savings for its residents with the completion of the 2000th home energy savings visit on Thursday, Oct. 14. Mayor R.T. Rybak, Council Member John Quincy (Ward 11), and representatives from the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) celebrated the milestone at the home of Mike and Breanne Rothstein, homeowners who took advantage of the Community Energy Services program, a collaboration with the City and Center for Energy and CEE.
The program puts Minneapolis homeowners on a comprehensive path to achieving energy savings and is funded, in part, by a grant of $705,000 the City received from the Department of Energy through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A pilot program was launched in 2009 in 28 neighborhoods and 2,000 houses. The grant allows for the expansion of this program to all neighborhoods in Minneapolis and to conduct energy audits of 6,000 homes. This program translates to an energy savings of $762,000 annually, a CO 2 emissions reduction of more than 5,000 tons per year, and 34 new jobs.
The Community Energy Services program offers:
- Free educational workshops to teach homeowners how to lower their energy use and save money;
- Materials, which may include low flow showerheads, setback thermostat, compact fluorescent light bulbs, gasket seals, faucet aerators, pipe insulation to help participants save now;
- Customized home energy visit from qualified professionals who will identify additional ways for residents to save energy in their homes, including a blower door test;
- Personalized energy use inventory for the past 12 months and feedback for the next 12 months to show homeowners how these low-cost/no-cost measures resulted in decreased energy use, as well as allowing participants to compare their energy use to that of similar homes;
- Access to financing, incentives, and rebates for those wishing to complete larger weatherization projects.
Two qualified professionals conduct the energy audit in the resident’s home. They identify a home’s unique energy needs, provide a blower door test to measure air leaks, and help homeowners install materials in the home such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, programmable thermostat, attic door weather-stripping, low-flow showerhead, gasket seals, pipe wrap and water heater thermometers.
For information on upcoming workshops in your neighborhood, contact Kyle Boehm at 612-219-7334 or www.mnces.org.
Published Oct. 14, 2010