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City to award residents home energy assessments

POSTED AT 10:00 PM ON Dec. 1, 2013  (UPDATED AT 10:01 PM ON Dec. 1, 2013)

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Beat the Meter Blitz will give 20 lottery winners free energy assessments, said City of Bloomington Sustainability Coordinator Jacqui Bauer.

A home energy assessment usually costs a homeowner between $200 and $300, Bauer said.

The city aims to remove the expense so people can still have a priority list of where they should invest their money for energy improvements.

Often there are homes with no insulation in the attic, which lets in air, Bauer said.

“The inspectors will identify those areas where air is leaking into the house,” Bauer said.

Bauer said sometimes the fixes are simple, such as caulking around windows, but sometimes it’s more involved, such as insulating an attic.

Given a priority list, homeowners identify which tasks they can take on in the next six months.

Participants are asked to sign a pledge that they will complete their list in six months, Bauer said.

“In exchange, we ask them to commit to actually implementing the suggestions,” Bauer said.

Within three or four years, homeowners will usually have a payment payback of 20 to 40 percent for the energy repairs they made.

“It’s really easy to assume that energy is a fixed cost, but in fact, a lot of our homes benefit from these very minor energy improvements that will bring your bill way down,” Bauer said.

The assessments will take place in early to mid December, Bauer said.

The program will provide assessments to Bloomington homeowners through a lottery system in which winners have already been chosen.

“Energy improvements are one of the best investments you can make,” Bauer said.

— Mary Hauber

 

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