My energy audit…BGE has good news(not)…

Don't bother replacing the single pane windows yet.....

BGE Home!” , the guy kept pointing out to me every time I said, simply, BGE. Two  energy auditors(former HVAC guys turned energy savers) from BGE Home came out and combed over all the nooks(dusty) and crannies(spiderwebby) of my old house last Saturday morning. After attaching a gi-normous vacuum to the front door and sucking air through every crevice and documenting every leak….they told me I had done an excellent job with insulation and weather proofing my house. Ok, they didn’t say anything like that…it was more like, “I wouldn’t spend any money on replacing your windows….they’re the least of your problems right now.”

Trapdoor to attic....sooooo many problems...

Yikes. They then set about showing me what problems we did have. Shall we start in the attic? 1. There are all sorts of gaps in the already inadequate insulation.  I know partly why that’s true. When we had a new ac system put in, the darn thing started leaking through the ceiling as soon as I turned it on(they forgot to vent the condensation to the outside-whoops)…so I told the ac guy to please remove all the wet insulation so it wouldn’t mold. He did, but it was never replaced. My bad, or his. Ok, my bad. 2. There are lots of gaps in things that need to be caulked up there.  Birds are roosting in the slatted vents to the outside of the house(I thought I heard baby birds chirping this summer through the air return to the attic). 3. We need MORE insulation. 4. We need more insulation downstairs in the basement. Bottom line…you got it…more insulation. (Actually there were many more points made, but I won’t bore you with the details.)

More leaks where paneling meets crown molding...

 3. OK, I get it, I get it. So this week, we will get estimates on getting all that darn ole insulatin’ done. Chi-ching. Oh, and a reader asked about the cost of the audit….in the end it was $340, even though I had been told it would be $500(!)…something about the zones and a 15% discount….and BGE’s website says that I will get a $250 rebate on the audit if I take some of the recommended actions(which I will). I took it and ran. And one good thing, energy insulation and things like that qualify for a $1500 tax credit if done by the end of the year. Maybe the credit will be extended for 2011 🙂 and I can get the windows done too. If you want to find out how much YOU need insulation…there are quite a few companies who do energy audits….here’s BGE HOME’s website.

6 Responses

  1. I was so anxious to hear what they would have to say. You seem a pretty savvy, responsible person and one who makes attempts to be “green.” Glad to hear it wasn’t that bad… like “close the door and move out!” I’ve been on my husband (he’s quite the handyman) to do a number of things over the years we’ve been in our home. He’s done lots, but we can do more. I mentioned to him that you were having an audit done. He said to see how it goes for you; if it seemed worth it to you, then he’d consider it. He’s a BIG fan of yours. So, I’ll tell him that it was worth it and we’ll get on it! Of course, there’s always something else that can be done.

    Love your blog, always look forward to it and especially love your Friday blog signoff!

  2. Sounds like they did a very good audit Donna. I went on the BGE website you mentioned and am waiting to hear from them. I don’t think BGE will come up to Thurmont but we’ll see. If they don’t, like you said, there are many companies that do audits. Thanks for sharing that information. Anything that is half way affordable and will help reduce the electric bill is worth it in my opinion.

  3. It was thorough Bob….and To Tricia…I do think the audit was worth it, because our house was leaking heat and cooling in places I would never have suspected(some I knew). But having a list of things to tackle makes it more likely you’ll do so…at least that’s how it works for me!

  4. Stinks that BGE charges for the audit. I live in Florida and our energy company came out for free to conduct an audit on our home.

  5. Sounds like you may have missed an opportunity for a good on-air story! It would have made for an informative and motivating piece.

    Love your blog and I enjoy, trust, and respect your work and professionalism. Best in Baltimore!

  6. Jeff….thank you first of all …and maybe that is a good story…though it’s tough when the company(Living Social) isn’t local, and I’m pretty sure they are not. Hmmmm…maybe a way to score a trip to NY?

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