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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

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Energy evaluations can help homeowners save money


As a mix of natural disasters and human conflicts tops the news in 2005, the most direct impact these current events have had on Wisconsin residents is our energy cost. Exceedingly high prices at the gas pump represent only part of the cost hike impacting our wallets. Home heating bills are projected to increase anywhere from 40 to 70 percent this winter, leaving many people asking, "What can I do to better prepare my home for this winter's energy costs?"

Two key programs, Home Performance with Energy Star, and Targeted Home Performance with Energy Star for income-eligible residents, are designed to help Wisconsin homeowners save on heating bills. Available through the Focus On Energy initiative, residents can find ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce heating costs. Focus On Energy is a partnership of both private and public organizations. The partnership's mission is to improve energy efficiency, produce alternative energy sources and strengthen Wisconsin's economy.

How can you participate?

If you own a one-, two- or three-unit home, the Home Performance with Energy Star program provides a list of local professionals that can evaluate your home's energy efficiency. According to Focus On Energy literature, these experts "conduct a thorough inspection of all the systems in your home and identify problems and their sources. You'll receive an objective, third-party diagnosis and a report of recommended solutions."

Cash-back rewards are identified by the consultants at the time of the inspection, along with recommended energy-saving improvements to be made by the homeowner. Once the recommended improvements are made to the home, a follow-up inspection is then conducted as a final check.

For income-eligible residents, the Targeted Home Performance with Energy Star program assists in covering up to 90 percentage of the costs associated with improving a home's energy efficiency. Based on this year's energy cost increases, Focus On Energy's program can help low-income homeowners with significant short and long term energy savings.

Be proactive and take a few minutes this fall to go to Focus On Energy's Web site and look into the ENERGY STAR programs. Have your home evaluated by a recommended home performance consultant and save on your energy bills this winter. Contact Focus On Energy at http://www.focusonenergy.com or by calling (800) 762-7077.

Dan Buttery is a professional home inspector and owner of Argus Inspections in Milwaukee. His Web site is http://argus-inspections.com.

Talkbacks

OMCreader | Oct. 16, 2005 at 9:59 a.m. (report)

Cozen Beguile said: SOLAR POWER!

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OMCreader | Oct. 13, 2005 at 9:38 a.m. (report)

Dan said: Europe and Canada have used tankless water heaters for years. The key to their success in those regions of the world was due to space and energy efficiency. The units cost more than the traditional units, but with the with a standard water heater, you heat and reheat the same water…even when you're sleeping. Look into energy efficient units, energy savings refunds/rebates and calculate your costs. The other nice thing is you no longer vent tankless heaters through your chimney. In that case, less is more. Google search “Tankless Water Heaters” and massive amounts of information will be at your fingertips. Good luck.

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OMCreader | Oct. 12, 2005 at 8:06 a.m. (report)

Stosh said: Anyone using a tankless waterheating system? Please post your thoughts on it. Is it working for you? Was it worth the extra cost?

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