Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home Energy Audit: First Step to Lower Heating Cost

Northern Wasco Ruralite January 2009

If you heat with an electrical furnace or wall heaters and want to cut heating cost this winter, call the energy experts at Northern Wasco County PUD to schedule a free energy audit.

If you have an older home that is heated with electrical baseboard, wall, furnace or heat pump, then you may qualify for rebates through the PUD's weatherization program.

To qualify, customers must complete a weatherization program application and return it to their office before beginning any work.

Applications are also available online. Got to their website: and click on "Can I request an energy efficiency audit?"

Once they receive your application, one of their specialist will schedule an appointment to come to your home. They will check your insulation areas (attic, walls, floor, duct work), windows, water heater and heating equipment to see how you can save money and energy when heating and cooling your home.

At the end of your audit, they will recommend what work you need to do to bring your home up to today's insulation code.

Only existing spaces that are electrically heated are covered under the weatherization program and qualify for the free audit or rebates. Room additions, remodeling and new construction do not qualify.

Weatherization rebates are based on the recommended upgrades at the time of the energy audit.

Their energy specialist will provide recommendations based on what will provide your house with the highest energy savings. Fore example, an attic with R-11 insulation would lose more heat than a floor that is not insulated or single-pane windows.

For this reason, the program will not pay to simply replace the windows if the home also has major areas that are not up to the insulation code.

NWCPUD offers a rebate of $0.75 per square foot for insulation of attics, walls and floors for both site-built and manufactured homes. They will pay up to $400 for sealing and insulating duct work in an attic or crawlspace.

The PUD offers rebates of $5.00 per square foot for window replacements that are rated at .30 U values or lower. Rebates apply to primary windows only.

To see how you can qualify for a rebate on the home weatherization projects on your to-do list for 2009, contact PUD energy specialists Steve Holmes or Patrick Urain at 541-296-2226.

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