Golden Valley has offered the Home$ense Energy Audit to its members for more than 20 years. It’s a quick, easy way to learn how to save energy. It takes a little over an hour and costs $39.95.
The Home$ense audit focuses on saving electrical energy. It doesn’t cover installing new doors and windows, replacing boilers or adding insulation. For that, Alaska homeowners can sign up for the Home Energy Rebate program offered by the state of Alaska.
Cori Taylor is one of GVEA’s Member Service Representatives. She and her husband, Cliff, decided to sign up for the Home Energy Rebate program last spring. All Alaska homeowners are eligible for this program regardless of income. Homeowners pay upfront and are reimbursed for making eligible improvements.
The first step is to have a pre-improvement energy rating, which Cori and Cliff completed in April. An auditor came to their home and spent several hours evaluating its energy efficiency. The pre-inspection audit cost $425, but $325 was reimbursed.
“The auditor gave us a detailed report with our energy rating (three stars) and a list of improvements we could do to increase our star level,” said Cori. “The suggested improvement worth the most points was converting our electric water heater to run off the boiler.”
Following the initial home inspection, homeowners have 18 months to complete the improvements. The Taylors hired a contractor to do the work.
“My husband is handy, but hiring a contractor made this so much easier,” said Cori. “The contractor was knowledgeable about the products and kept us on schedule.”
In total, Cori and Cliff invested $10,900 in energy-saving improvements over about five months. They replaced three doors and five windows, installed a ventilation system and converted the electric water heater to run off the boiler.
The Taylors’ post-inspection rating was completed in early August. Their home is now rated 4.5 stars.
“We were reimbursed $7,000 for our energy-saving improvements,” said Cori. “And that’s not to mention the money we’ll save on future heating and electric bills.”
Additional advice from Cori:
- Keep all of your receipts.
- Make sure you submit all paperwork on time.
- Keep in mind that you have 18 months to complete the program. If you miss the date, you won’t be eligible for the refund.
Interested in signing up for the program? Visit akrebate.com or call 877-257-3228.