When you think about home improvements, it's common to think of the aesthetic work. Many times, the first upgrades are adding solid surface counter tops, wood flooring, or updated paint colors. These changes are all significant, and add value to your home. But while they make a beautiful impact, they will not save you money. Your monthly bills will see the greatest reduction by making changes to the energy efficiency of your home.
Focus on Energy partners with 108 participating statewide utilities to make these cost savings possible. Their programs include simple things like swapping out old light bulbs for energy efficient models, providing incentives for the purchase of a Smart Thermostat, and they also include more significant projects, like adding insulation or replacing HVAC equipment.
"To achieve the greatest benefits, it is best for existing homeowners to view their homes as systems with many different parts all working together. The right mix of improvements can make a huge difference in a home’s performance. Even if you already have ideas for specific areas in your home you want to address, a Home Energy Assessment is the best place to start," says Steve Pipson, Outreach and Technical Advisor at Focus on Energy.
To have one completed, you simply need to find a contractor (known as a trade ally) working with Focus on Energy. This can be done at the Focus on Energy website (www.focusonenergy.com/trade-ally/find). Current utility bills will be reviewed at the Home Energy Assessment, and the representative will test your house with a blower door and look at air leakage and insulation levels with an infrared camera. As an added safety precaution, all combustion equipment is tested, too. They may also suggest adding insulation to water pipes, or caulk to windows and doors. From there, they will also give you recommended updates, and supply you with information on how your home upgrades can benefit from Focus on Energy Programs.
"Focus on Energy is funded by utility customers of the 108 participating statewide utilities. As a utility customer, this is a great way to get your money back. Focus on Energy offers programs and financial incentives to both residential and business customers," says Steve Pipson, Outreach and Technical Advisor at Focus on Energy.
The benefits of Focus on Energy are available to all eligible utility customers, regardless of income. The amount of the incentives available depend on your home's needs, your interest in pursuing changes, and your income level. Two tiers of benefit levels are presented, and all are eligible for the program.
The program saves money and energy, and it also provides measurable benefits to the local community and the entire State of Wisconsin.
"For every dollar invested in Focus on Energy, another $5.63 is returned. This is good for the state, and good for the consumer," says Pipson. To learn more about Focus on Energy, go to their website at https://www.focusonenergy.com/my home.