Reducing home energy use is important for our community, but also critical for our own home’s comfort. When my mother would visit, we always had to have a blanket ready to keep her warm.
We took a common sense approach to improvements. We reduced our oil use from 2200 gallons a year down to 1400 even before adding insulation. The low interest loan that Energize Bedford promotes makes this a really smart move. Now we’ve got a warm house in the winter and cool house in the summer.
"Just as we need a hat and boots in cold weather, my house needed insulation in the attic and basement to keep it warm."
Our bedrooms are hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and it was time to address them. Our contractor helped me see my house my house is not unlike a person. A hat and boots are key in the cold weather – and that means the attic and basement needed proper insulation.
Comfort is key for us, so we’re starting with insulation in the attic to keep our kids’ bedrooms cooler in the summer. We should start saving money on electric bills right away.
"I didn't realize those giant icicles were caused by leaking heat."
Our home energy assessment was a real 'aha!' moment. The tests they performed helped me see my home in a more scientific way, like a car's engine. It was clearly time for a serious tune-up.
The thermal imaging and pictures taken behind the walls showed us why the house was operating so inefficiently, revealing twisted ductwork and big air leaks. I always thought the huge icicles were a natural part of living in the northeast, but when the contractor explained that they were symptoms of poor insulation and leaking hot air, I could plainly see we had serious problems.
We are staging the repair work, and completed the ductwork and insulation of exterior doors. Already our house is warmer and quieter, with less drafty areas.
We were skeptical when our son first approached us with the idea of having an energy audit done. We couldn’t help but think that there had to be a catch, but there wasn’t. From the application to the completion of the work it couldn’t have been easier. The contractor we used was professional, neat and the work was completed in the expected time frame. The work on our home was completed the first week of December 2013, right at the start of one of the worst winters on record for both snowfall and cold temperatures and we saved big! In the first 4 months we used one less tank of oil
Since we have insulated the house through the Energize Ossining program, my family and I feel much more comfortable. For example, we no longer experience a blast of cold air that would hit us as we were climbing the stairs to the second floor in our home. We had this wind tunnel cold zone in the middle of the house that reminded us of how little insulation was in the walls. During the energy assessment, we discovered paper-thin insulation in one of the bathrooms, which did nothing to keep us warm. Since Energizing, my family and I are now more comfortable (temperature wise) in our home and are glad we are reducing our energy footprint.
My home is running much more efficiently so I am using less energy and saving a substantial sum of money, and safer (there was detection of a small carbon dioxide leak that was resolved with my energy upgrade work). Additionally, the change in comfort is dramatic. I have been through a summer and a winter since the work was done on my home and the uniform temperature throughout the house (heat or air-conditioning) is such a change from what it was before I Energized. It’s a no brainer to have the assessment done - but a win-win in living in a home that has been Energized.
Living in a house whose oldest section dates from 1789, I felt there was a lot of unnecessary waste of energy and expenses. Having lent my support and expertise to help Energize NY get off the ground, I knew exactly where I could get help to improve the energy efficiency of my colonial home. I began by selecting an Energize Comfort Corps and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program contractor.
The contractor identified my 18th century colonial's unique problems through a comprehensive home energy assessment. To my surprise, the assessment showed that the older section of my house was more efficient than the addition built in 2001. I chose to air seal and insulate his home from top to bottom. This measure would block cold outside air from being drawn into the house around the sill and basement, and heated air from escaping through the attic and roof.
I am very pleased with my home upgrades and could not be happier with the results. My home is now wasting much less energy and my heating costs have dropped significantly too.
“I’m interested in cost savings and energy savings. To me they go hand in hand. That’s why I had an energy assessment and follow up improvements in my condo. It was all about saving money and reducing energy use.
What impressed me about Energize New York is that they only use certified contractors and the contractor has to first get permission to go
ahead with energy improvements. Then there is follow up checks and oversight to make sure the work they’ve done is going to generate their projected savings.
I like that because that says to me it's a job well done!”
We live in a relatively new home so we were not sure we would enjoy any savings with better insulation. Surprisingly our free home energy assessment revealed opportunities in our attic, basement and over our garage.
Having Energize resources such as an Energy Coach made us feel confident that we were making the right decision and using the best contractor. Sure enough our master bathroom is much warmer and less drafty in the winter and the temperature is much more consistent across our house. Better still, the rebates and low cost loan enabled us to pay out just half our new savings per month to the loan.
Why wouldn’t anyone at least take advantage of the free energy assessment?
In recent years our family has doubled, so we needed to control expenses wherever possible. We live in an older home that was drafty and cold, especially the living room above our garage. We had a home energy assessment and learned how insulation would really help.
Our contractor was able to reduce our home energy loss by 50% so now we are saving money and have a comfortable living room.
I think homeowners will be surprised by what they can learn from a home energy assessment; and through the Energize program, it’s free! What a great way to invest in your home.
There are many old homes in Pound Ridge and you would expect these to be drafty, inefficient, and energy hungry.. But it doesn't have to be that way. It’s really quite possible to take an antique house and make it energy efficient. You actually add to the value of your house by doing so, because when and if you decide to sell your house, you can use the Home Energy Assessment Report and your lower bills to market your home to potential buyers. Energizing provides marketing benefits as well as energy savings.
I got a real education about wasting energy when I had my home energy assessment. It showed how much air was actually escaping through my walls and attic. Basically all those cracks added up to the equivalent of a 5’ by 5’ hole in my exterior walls.
My investment in energy improvements including insulation and air sealing, and installing a high efficiency boiler resulted in dramatically reducing my oil and electric bills. I made these improvements a few years ago and not only did I succeed in lowering oil and electric bills every month, but it’s akin to creating an annuity -- it has a benefit long after the 7 year pay back.
I hope all Somers homeowners will do what I did and get a free or reduced cost comprehensive home energy assessment*. It’s easy, painless and only takes a couple of hours. After the tests you’ll know exactly where your home is leaking energy and what you can do to stop it. There is no obligation --You decide what, if any, improvements make sense for you. Just log onto the Energize Somers website to get started!
*Income qualified - 97% of New York Homeowners can receive.”
My energy story started when I was interested in reducing my energy bills, so I called my electric company to do an energy assessment. After the electric company checked my lights and appliances, I felt more could be done. At about the same time I met a few Armonk residents from Sustainable North Castle. They are involved in supporting the nonprofit Energize North Castle and they told me about their energy assessment program, which costs anywhere from free to a very nominal fee based on income.
For me, the attractiveness of the program is you can choose from a list of experienced contractors who have been vetted by the Energize New York program. The assessment takes about 3 hours to do and then a few weeks later the contractor submits a proposal, identifying the areas that need to be addressed and the cost for doing the work. If you have any questions or concerns about your proposal you can have a no cost meeting with the Energize Energy Coach. I found that meeting very helpful.
Another benefit is the rebate program, in which homeowners can receive a 10% rebate, up to $10,000 from NYSERDA.
Based on my experience with the Energize program I decided to join the Energize North Castle committee to encourage others to take advantage of this wonderful program that saves people money on their energy expenses and reduces the cost of any work done by receiving a 10% rebate check from New York State. Consumers win and so does the environment.
" Every homeowner who participates in the Energize program contributes to reduced carbon emissions and less global warming. No matter how small the improvements made, it all makes a difference.
Click here to watch a video of John from his talk on energy efficiency in Pound Ridge buildings.