Saving money with an energy audit

January 7, 2009 8:03:56 AM PST
With frigid temperatures upon us and colder weather on the way, it's important to be sure you're not wasting energy and money when it comes to your utilities.There are thousands of residents in the Philadelphia area whose homes aren't as energy efficient as they should be, and who are paying too much for gas, electricity and water service.

Robert Collins is able to pay just enough of his energy bill to avoid having his utilities cut off. He uses only a small section of his house.

"I live in the kitchen. That's what you do. I had kerosene heaters," Collins said.

An energy audit was conducted Tuesday to help Collins reduce his utility bill, and make his home more energy efficient.

One step they take: Using a loud contraption called a "blower door," they detect drafts throughout the house.

Then, the crew checks the heater for carbon monoxide.

"We check to see if the heater needs to be cleaned, tuned or if it's working efficiently," said Chandra Bligen of PGW's Energy Coordinating Agency.

The hot water tank will have to be insulated and the pipes wrapped. A basement door to the outside will be replaced to keep the cold air out of the living space.

"He needs extra insulation in his roof," said Audit Manager Edgar Incarnacion. "Sometimes the insulation is not effective anymore. We will come back and re-insulate the roof."

The crew is able to make some on-site improvements right away, installing compact fluorescent light bulbs that use less energy and replacing a shower head with one that uses less water.

PGW says many residents are not aware this service is available:

"The bills are going up and they're going to keep going up until something is done, and we're here to help them and to educate them, which is the key to everything," Bligen said. "We'll educate them so they can keep doing it after we leave."

If you would like to get an energy audit for your home contact:

Debby Segui
PGW/Energy Coordinating Agency
1924 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 609-1437

CLICK HERE to go to the Energy Coordinating Agency's website

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