REDUCE ENERGY USAGE AND SAVE MONEY WITH FREE ENERGY AUDITS
United Cooperative Services strives to be a trusted energy advisor for its membership, and employs energy experts on staff to offer free home energy audits for both residential and commercial/industrial members seeking energy efficiency advice.
Since 2006, United’s Energy Experts have been invited into more than 10,000 United members’ homes and businesses to assist in their quest to waste less energy and increase comfort.
United’s members can sign up for a free energy audit by calling or visiting their local office, or by signing up online. Once a request is made, the energy expert will call the member to schedule a time when the homeowner or business owner can be present.
As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, United is geared toward providing its members with reliable power at the most affordable price. Educating members about energy efficiency is something the cooperative is committed to for the long haul. Members who would like to request a free home energy audit, or who wish to receive additional information about any of United’s Energy Innovation programs are encouraged to call a local United Cooperative Services office for more details.
Don't forget our useful online energy auditing tools at Together We Save.
IN THE HOME
Before visiting the home, a United energy expert examines the home’s electrical consumption by inspecting several years of monthly kWh usage, daily usage and weather data. This study allows auditors to see the big picture. In some instances, the expert can diagnose a problem, such as a stuck heating element or a leaking water heater, even before leaving the office.
While at the home, the auditor interviews the member to understand the home’s characteristics and the typical energy usage behaviors of the occupants. The auditor will determine the leading sources of power consumption in the home and how much those sources are contributing to the total monthly kWh usage.
Typical questions focus on the square footage of the residence, type of HVAC and water heating equipment, thermostat settings, hot water usage patterns and other usage habits.
Once the initial interview with the member is complete, the energy expert will evaluate water heaters, heating and A/C systems, thermostats, insulation and ventilation in the attic, ductwork, caulking around windows, weather-stripping around doors, lighting and the thermal envelope.
During a residential energy audit, the Energy Expert takes measurements of doors, windows and the outside of the home. The direction the house faces will be noted to estimate how much heat gain/loss the home may receive through its thermal envelope.
Once all data are collected and the audit is complete, the energy expert will explain any recommendations as well as the potential energy savings the member could expect if certain energy-saving enhancements to the home were implemented. Return-on-investment numbers for some of the report’s key recommendations, rebate eligibility and Co-op Connections vendors are shared with the member. A typical energy audit takes about an hour to an hour and a half to complete.
As a further aid to the member, United's energy experts commonly provide members (while supplies last) with LED’s as replacements for inefficient incandescent light bulbs. If an electric water heater is housed in an unconditioned space, such as in the attic, garage or outside closet, the member will receive a free water heater blanket to place around the heater tank. If needed, low-flow faucet aerators or low-flow shower heads are available for members who have electric water heaters to help reduce the amount of hot water used in the home.
BUSINESS ENERGY AUDIT
At United Cooperative Services, one of our goals is to develop the business of our commercial members, and one of the ways we try to accomplish this is by assisting our members with energy efficiency to improve their bottom lines. Every energy efficient measure taken by United’s commercial members today will help pay dividends well into the future.
When businesses strategize to become more efficient, they should keep in mind that performing a few simple energy conservation measures can help save a considerable amount of energy.
United's trusted energy experts are well versed in finding ways to reduce energy usage and save on overhead costs.
Businesses should educate their staff members and stakeholders on the implications of their actions and how it effects the organization’s energy use. Regular communication with all stakeholders regarding the operations and maintenance efforts, results and strategic plans to manage energy use is key, and high performance businesses can serve as educational tools to teach others about the importance of energy efficiency.
Members should also routinely inspect all major equipment to make sure they are working at peak performance. For example, air leaks in compressed air systems are a significant source of wasted energy, often wasting as much as 20-30 percent of the compressor’s output.
United’s commercial members should also take a look at their billing structure. Commercial members who utilize 3 phase service are billed an energy charge, which is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), as well as a demand charge, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). United monitors demand on a continuous basis over 15 minute intervals. The member is charged for the highest 15 minute average recorded on the demand meter. After we read the meter each month, demand is reset to zero and the meter starts over, recording the highest 15 minute average for the next billing period.
One way to decrease the impact of the demand charge is to make sure that all the equipment is not operating at once. If possible, commercial members can implement a plan of action to stagger the use of the equipment at their facility. This involves turning one unit of operation completely off before turning on another. By doing this, it ensures that all the equipment in the facility will not be on at once, and being logged in the 15 minute interval recorded by United’s 3 phase demand meters.
If your business is going through a remodel process, or you are planning on building a new office or plant, looking at different energy efficiency certifications Such as EnergyStar or LEED standards are great tools to make sure your building is up to standards when implementing energy efficiency into the buildings design.
So when beginning to create an energy efficiency action plan, be sure to call United’s team of energy efficiency experts to help your business become more energy efficient today.
WATCH HOW ENERGY AUDITS HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE
A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy a home consumes and to evaluate what measures United members can take to make their homes more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save significant amounts of money over time. Our trusted energy advisors can give your home a checkup by checking for leaks, examining insulation, inspecting HVAC systems and ductwork, and many other tests to provide our members the best methods for improving energy efficiency.
Request a home energy audit today!
Find out what happens during an energy audit.
Hear what members have to say about energy audits.
Exposed knee wall.
No insulation under the floor.
Frozen refrigerant line.
No attic insulation.
HVAC duct with failing insulation.
Uninsulated wall cavity.
Unsealed plumbing penetrations.
Leaking duct work.
Thermal imaging of leaking ducts.
Finding a slab leak with the thermal camera.
Thermal leaking through attic entrance.