Energy Efficiency

What are the benefits of enrolling in a Clean Energy for Us campaign?
The benefits of enrolling include:

  • -Discounted solar pricing
  • -Local subsidies (in select counties)
  • -A free solar site assessment
  • -An energy efficiency audit
  • -Vetted contractors and equipment
  • -Education on the technology, tax credits, rebates, financing, and everything else you need to know!

What is energy efficiency?
 We define energy efficiency as “using less energy to provide the same service.” It starts with identifying the issues and their order of importance. EE is achieved through improvements to the building envelope in areas that form the thermal & air barrier between conditioned and unconditioned space.

From an existing home standpoint, EE improvements should normally consist of items listed in this order:

  1. Identify and fix moisture and combustion safety issues
  2. Air sealing (insulation doesn’t stop air movement)
  3. Duct sealing (average duct system leaks 20%)
  4. Insulation and insulation alignment (insulation only works if contacting surface it intends to insulate)

What are the benefits of investing in energy efficiency?
The benefits of energy efficiency include:

    • -Energy and monetary savings
    • -Improved comfort
    • -Improved indoor air quality
    • -Increased durability
    • -Increased re-sale value
    • -Reduced environmental impacts
    • -Reduced pest infiltration issues

Energy efficiency has the greatest payoff of any other energy resource available, including solar. That is why we consider it the best investment a homeowner can make.

How does energy efficiency pay off as an investment?
Most homes have plenty of potential for low-cost efficiency improvements that will drastically reduce electricity use and produce exponential savings for every dollar invested. The US EPA has found that investments in efficiency improvements have a far better monetary return than any other investment strategy available to consumers and building owners.

The average homeowner can cut their consumption by 20-30% and reduce their heating and cooling loads by 40%. The average return on investment (ROI) for EE is 14%. The payback can be as little as 1-2 years for things like lighting, and 5-6 years for things like insulation.

This calculator can help you translate the payback from your energy savings.

Who is a good candidate for energy efficiency?
Any homeowner who currently feels their home is not performing qualitatively or quantitatively to a standard they are comfortable with is a candidate for energy efficiency. Problem areas in the home that can be rectified include:

  1. High energy bills
  2. Hot and cold spots within the home
  3. Unbalanced temperatures between and upstairs and downstairs
  4. Moist or musty feeling or odors
  5. Allergies/Asthma
  6. Drafty rooms

What is an energy efficiency audit?
A basic energy audit is a walk-through analysis of all energy-related, indoor air quality, and health and durability features within the home. Areas included in the audit include:

  • -Attic
  • -Crawlspace/basement
  • -HVAC systems
  • -Lighting
  • -Appliances
  • -Windows and doors
  • -Moisture issues
  • -Any pertinent structural weakness

A prioritized scope of work is formulated based on the results of the audit. The audit details the sites areas for improvement, what projects can alleviate those weaknesses, and which projects should be performed in what order (determined by rate of return on investment.)

How much do energy efficiency upgrades typically cost?
The cost for basic energy efficiency/retrofit improvements can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on complexity and scale of issues. Efficiency improvements generally pay back within 6-7 years, but can pay back in as little as 1-2 years.

Are there any rebates available for energy efficiency?
Duke Energy offers rebates for:

  • -Duct sealing
  • -Attic insulation & air sealing
  • -Duct Insulation
  • -Heat pump water heaters
  • -High-efficiency HVAC replacement 15 SEER min.

How does financing for energy efficiency work?
There are several financing options available for energy efficiency (EE) through Green Sky Financial. They range from 6 months “Same-as-Cash” to 24 months “Same-as-Cash”, or, a straight term finance plans up to 84 months. You may review these financing options with our EE partner, Home Energy Solutions of the Triad.

How do I gather my utility information for the assessment form?
Electricity data (ideally the kWh per month.) If you are a Duke customer, go online to www.duke-energy.com and login to your account. If you dont have an account, create one by clicking the Need to Register button.

  • 1. Click Access your account on the right
  • 2. You may need to enter your account # and pin, located on your bill
  • 3. Go to payment history/bill history
  • 4. You can also call 800-452-2777 and request the information

Fuel data (ideally gallons for fuel oil, therms for gas, cords for wood.)

  • 1. If you are a PSNC customer, go online to www.psncenergy.com
  • 2. If you are not registered for online access go to Register for an online account
  • 3. Enter your account number and the activation code found on your bill or your social security number
  • 4. Create a username and password
  • 5. Go to the Account Management page
  • 6. At the top right of the page go to Other Options
  • 7. Go to Energy Analyzer and then Consumer History

Water data (ideally CCF)

  • 1. Call your City Water Department.
  • 2. Request a printout of the last two years
  • 3. They will mail you a copy of your usage

What is the process for investing in energy efficiency?
If you qualify as an EE candidate:

  1. We will assign you to our EE partner, Home Energy Solutions of the Triad (HEST)
  2. HEST will call you to schedule your free energy audit
  3. The audit is completed and you receive the results, as well as a proposed prioritized Scope of Work
  4. If you decide to go ahead with the work, you will receive a Services Agreement detailing the work to be performed
  5. At this time you may review financing options with HEST
  6. Both parties sign the contract
  7. The work is completed
  8. HEST will complete all pertinent Duke Energy SmartSaver Rebate paperwork for your account
  9. After the work is completed, you will receive a two-year labor warranty. 

 

installing-solar-reg