Home Energy Audits
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) offers free energy audits to members of the Cooperative. Upon request the MEC energy advisor will visit the premises and utilize a 100-point checklist to inspect areas throughout the home, including insulation in the attic and underneath the floors. An infrared camera reveals air leaks that should be sealed to immediately save energy.
A follow up packet is mailed to the member with a list of specific recommendations to help improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity costs. The information packet also includes energy saving literature, an appliance cost estimator, and member usage patterns broken down by base load, heating load, and cooling load. The energy advisor will keep the member informed throughout the process, addressing concerns, providing education on energy efficiency, and reinforcing the difference between the Cooperative and other utilities.
If you are interested in doing your own home analysis, click here to examine your home's energy use. If you have questions, please feel free to call our office.
Tips to Identify Problem Areas
Get to Know Your Energy Bills - Compare your heating and cooling costs by month for as many years past as you can, and look for trends in usage or obvious changes. Do you see any spikes? Can you remember why?
Locate Air Leaks - Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5 to 30% a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The energy advisor will take a close look at places where two different building materials meet, such as corners, around chimneys, where pipes or wires exit and along the foundation.
Examine Heating and Cooling Equipment - Not surprisingly, heating and cooling usually account for the biggest home energy loads. To reduce waste the energy advisor will check to see if your furnace filters look dirty and check the coils both inside and outside. The energy advisor will examine ductwork for dirt streaks, which mark leaks.
Look for Energy Vampires - The energy advisor will help you locate these and explain them to you.
See the Light - Lighting eats up about 10% of a typical electric bill. Swap out high-wattage bulbs with lower users, ideally CFLs.
Gauge the Results - After you have made some improvements, revisit your audit steps in a month or two. Get your energy bills, and compare. Did your usage drop? Consider going back through the steps above, looking for any appliances or areas you missed before. Want more savings?