Our local congressman recently attended an event promoting a local energy saving assistance program. The aim of the program is to assist homeowners in identifying strategies to save energy through energy audits. Under the program the energy auditor will hand the owner a list of things they can do to improve the energy efficiency of their home. The program is a great community asset, and I applaud Congressman Perriello for supporting it.
Once the energy wasting areas are identified, the homeowner will need to make some decisions about how to address the problems in a cost-effective manner. All too often these days, such recommendations are made by a contractor who may be interested in selling more insulation or perhaps an HVAC system. While doing this kind of thing can save the homeowner money, many energy saving projects have the potential to involve major renovations to one’s home.
This is why the homeowner should hire a licensed architect or professional engineer, depending on what it is that they are trying to accomplish. Often times, the addition of energy saving improvements can coincide with adding to or renovating space which will address the homeowner’s changing needs while improving the energy performance of the home. Additionally, the architect or PE doesn’t have a financial interest in what strategies are utilized, so a thorough analysis of product choices can take place so the homeowner should get the most for his or her money.