We asked one of our experienced Home Energy Specialists 5 questions about energy assessments and here is what he said about savings, surprises, and the questions he gets the most from customers like you!
What do homeowners like best about an assessment?
Customers get really excited about the savings. We install savings items during the assessment like programmable thermostats and they always like knowing that when I walk out the door, they’ve already started to save energy and money.
Our neighbors also really like the educational aspect of the assessment. As a customer, you’re encouraged to walk around with us as we inspect your home, and we’ll talk along the way and give you insight into how your home consumes and loses energy. I’ve had some really great conversations, especially when they ask a lot of questions, and they’re always interested (sometimes quite surprised!) at what we show them. No matter if you get any follow-up work completed, you learn about your home and what savings opportunities you have that are specific to your place. And customers really seem to get a lot out of that.
How much does a typical homeowner save?
Savings is undeniable – it’s when we start talking about how much – that’s when it gets tricky. It varies with every customer, and it depends on factors like the condition of the home and which upgrades are completed.
For example, I worked with a customer last week who moved forward with insulation and air sealing upgrades, and it’s estimated that he’ll save about $840/year on energy costs. I installed a lot of no-cost items in his home as well. The total project cost was almost $3,000 but he only had to pay about $450 because of the Mass Save incentives available. He’s going to move forward with more work and he’s going to use the 0% interest HEAT Loan for his new heating system, so he’ll save even more!
A few weeks ago, a customer didn’t have as much to update, but she is still expected to save about $150 every year. And I have some customers who just want the no-cost items and the custom home energy report, and they stop there.
Every home is different and there’s just no way to put a number on it without walking through the home during a Home Energy Assessment and talking with the customer about what upgrades they want to make.
Also, the work pays for itself as you save on energy costs every month, so it’s all about perspective.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found during an assessment?
What I’m usually most surprised at is how unprotected some homes are that I visit. I’m surprised that the homeowner has been living in a home with such outdated insulation or leaks in their home. They might as well have just left a window open all year long! It makes sense that their energy costs are uncontrollably high and why they can’t get their home comfortable during the winter or summer.
But it’s also rewarding knowing that I can help educate the homeowner or renter and give them practical, effective, and affordable solutions that will help them stay protected and save money.
If I’m surprised, they’re usually surprised, too, which leads to a great conversation about what kinds of issues they’ve been experiencing with their home and we’re able to tie it all together.
What is the question you are most frequently asked by a customer?
I get a lot of questions about how the Mass Save® rebates and incentives work. I think customers imagine the process to be much more difficult than it really is and so they come prepared with many questions about how they can get rebates or apply for the 0% interest HEAT Loan.
But that’s what I’m here for – to explain how easy everything is and encourage them to take advantage of the discounts and no-cost offerings that make energy efficiency affordable. We even fill out all of the rebate paperwork for our customers and apply all discounts upfront – many customers are happily surprised about that.
I also get many questions about insulation upgrades and electrification/heat pumps. I talk a lot about how heat pumps work best when a customer’s home is weatherized. Customers are always very interested in the specific insulation gaps of their home and how we can solve their unique needs.
With the state of Massachusetts releasing their new 3-year energy efficiency plan and the big push for electrification, many customers are signing up for an assessment to learn more about heat pumps and how they can get the rebates to convert. They have a lot of questions, which is great, because education is all part of the experience!
What’s one thing you would tell homeowners and renters who haven’t had an assessment yet?
I would just say that it’s as easy and as beneficial as it sounds. There’s no red tape, there’s no catch – it really is a no-cost assessment that is geared to educating the customer and giving them the best opportunities available to save energy and money. It’s a no-pressure sort of thing. You can do as little or as much as you want.
To sign up for a no-cost Mass Save Home Energy Assessment, sign up here or call (781) 305-3319 to schedule over the phone. The Home Energy Specialists at HomeWorks Energy will find ways for you to save!