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Definitions

What is an instrumented energy audit?
What is air sealing?
What is R-value?
What is an energy audit?
What is BPI?
What is a Building Analyst?
What is an Envelope Professional?
What is RESNET?
What is a HERS Rater?
What does HERS Index mean?
What is ENERGY STAR®?
What is Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®?
What is ENERGY STAR® for New Homes?

What is an instrumented energy audit?

It is an energy analysis of your insulation, air leakage, duct system, windows and doors, combined with a safety study of your home’s combustion appliances, such as a natural gas, propane, or oil heater, water heater and oven. After collecting this information at your home we use accepted software to compile a complete understanding of your energy use.

What is air sealing?

Air leaking into and out of your home carries with it your expensive winter heat and summer cold, and also causes drafts. Sealing leaks saves energy and makes you more comfortable. Sealing leaks is not as easy as it might appear, as many are hidden in the structure of your home. Would you believe that a middle of the row townhouse has a higher leakage rate than an end of the row town house? It is because it has two party walls instead of one, and the party wall is the biggest source of home air leakage.

For over 30 years, Energy Services Group has used blower doors, infrared scanners, and other diagnostic tools to evaluate and quantify the amount of building leakage in homes both before and after we have air sealed them. We know where sealing is important for energy savings and comfort.

What is R-value?

We all know that more insulation is better for holding our expensive heat inside. R-value is a way to put a number to that – more R-value is better. An attic in a house built in the 1960s might have R-19 insulation in the attic. A house built today in this region is required to have between R-38 and R-49 installed. More is better.

Different materials have different R-values. Common attic insulation materials are about an R-3.5 per inch, whereas rigid foam boards may be R-7 per inch. One of our jobs is to help you select the most R-value for the least amount of money for the areas that need it most.

What is an energy audit?

A home energy audit from Energy Services Group will show you how your home operates as a whole system, from appliances like the furnace and water heater to the insulation levels and air leakage locations. We use the “whole house” approach to find ways to reduce your energy demands while improving comfort throughout your home, including ways you may have never suspected.

Your Energy Audit will include:

  • A thorough health and safety test of any combustion appliances such gas furnaces, water heaters and gas fired ovens, to be sure they are operating at their peak performance and not adding to indoor air pollution
  • Measuring the insulation R-values throughout the different areas of your home, such as walls and ceilings
  • Measuring your home’s air leakage rate with our blower door
  • Examining window construction and quality of door weather stripping
  • Reviewing your past utility bills to determine the potential savings
  • Evaluating your lighting and appliances and making recommendations
  • Providing you information and documentation on any rebates for energy improvements you make

First, we will look at possible moisture problems and heater and water heater safety issues. Then we will evaluate the energy efficiency of your home using sophisticated equipment such as blower doors and infrared cameras. During these evaluations we can actually show you where energy escapes your home so you can concentrate on improvements that are meaningful.

Our goal is to look at your home’s thermal performance, show you where it can be improved, suggest the best ways to complete improvements, and to get you any rebates or credits that are available.

What is BPI?

BPI is a national standard setting organization that certifies energy auditors and those who work in the energy efficiency field. The BPI standards are used in virtually all efficiency programs in the country.

What is a Building Analyst?

A Building Analyst is a BPI-certified professional who understands the requirements of collecting audit-required data and analyzing the results. ESG has over fifteen certified Building Analysts on staff.

What is an Envelope Professional?

An Envelope Professional has an additional BPI certification that assures the upgrades completed on your home are done in a safe and effective manner. ESG has over ten certified Envelope Professionals on staff.

What is RESNET?

The Residential Energy Services Network is a national standards setting organization for building energy efficiency rating systems that mostly pertain to new construction. RESNET developed the HERS Index that is used by many organizations and jurisdictions to measure energy efficiency. ESG has over ten certified RESNET HERS Raters on staff.

What is a HERS Rater?

A HERS Rater, or energy rater, is a RESNET-certified professional who completes a computer model of house before it is built to help the new owner or builder determine what efficiency can be expected. The Rater will also help you or your builder decide what efficiency measures will fit your budget and your individual desire to be green and efficient. HERS Rater here: Click to view.

What does HERS Index mean?

The HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System Index) is a number assigned to a home based on its level of efficiency. A HERS Index of 100 means that the home uses 100% of the energy it would use if it were built to code. A more efficient home will use less, so a HERS Index of 65 means that the home will use 35% less energy. Existing homes typically have a HERS Index over 120. HERS Index here: Click to view.

What is ENERGY STAR®?

ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

What is Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®?

HPwES is a national EPA program sponsored locally at the state or utility level. It offers a whole-house approach to improving efficiency and comfort in existing homes. Under these programs, Energy Services Group can evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment, recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results, help you to get the work done, and get any rebates or incentives.

What is ENERGY STAR® for New Homes?

To earn the ENERGY STAR®, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA. These homes are more efficient and operate better than homes built to code.

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