Conducting an Energy Audit for Your Home

One of the best ways to determine how to reduce the amount of energy used in your home is by conducting an energy audit. Your local utility provider will often conduct the audit at no cost, or you can hire a private company.

Tests on the windows, door, and walls are conducted to check for air infiltration. The ductwork of your heating and cooling (HVAC) system is also examined for air leaks, which can account for 25% – 40% loss of the conditioned air in your home.


  1. Unfortunately, some municipal and state governments are embarking on disasterous “Climate Protection” plans. For example, the Austin City Council passed a law in 2009 that mandates single-family home sellers submit a single-family energy audit at the point of sale. This ordinance is the Energy Conservation and Disclosure Ordinance. The audits cost between $100 and $300, depending on the size of your home and non-compliance is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine up to $2000! If you live in Austin and Austin Energy is your electricity provider, you can’t take your business elsewhere. Austin Energy is “community-owned” (read City of Austin) monopoly. I couldn’t take my electricity business to another provider if I wanted to! In contrast to Austin Energy, South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) will perform free energy audits for homeowners, as do many state and municipal energy utilities. Furthermore, all Austin Energy single-family energy audits fail to measure or list the property owner’s historical electricity use for the house. As a home-buyer, wouldn’t it be useful to see how much electricity a house used over the past 12 months and review a comparison of electricity consumption of adjacent properties in your neighborhood? How do you know if your “new” home should use 650 kilowatt hours a month, or 1050 kWhs?

    John Barksdale


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