In Minnesota, where I live, Xcel Energy offers a really good deal on home energy audits for its customers. For as little as $30, inspectors will check your home’s insulation, windows, doors and heating/cooling system and make recommendations for improving your efficiency. Other utilities throughout the region offer similar programs.
I’ve known about this program for a long time, and like most people, have been putting off taking advantage of it.
That’s because it’s a bit like taking the car to the shop or going to the dentist – there’s probably going to be bad news, and it’s probably going to be expensive. It’s a lot less painful to just put the plastic up on the windows again and live in denial.
That’s where the Energy Bills come in:
The video series, produced by Energy Impact Illinois, features two “Bills” – Little Bill, who is wise in the ways of saving energy, and Big Bill, who is as dumb as a box of hair (“Water heaters kind of regulate how long your showers last because — I do it until the hot water runs out”).
The videos are actually entertaining, and more importantly, make the energy audit process feel more accessible. Because at least you’ll be in better shape than the guy who tries to save money by never changing his furnace filter.