PA Energy Home Services Blog: What We're Talking About
June 1st, 2012 by admin
What is a Home Energy Assessment?
A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. Home Energy Assessments include the following:
• Consultation with an expert to advise you on easy ways to save
• Thermal Scans and Blower tests to pinpoint leaks and air pressure
• Testing to make sure your HVAC systems are working safely and efficiently
• Recommendations and advice regarding contractors to manage upgrades
• Detailed information regarding current local, state, and federal incentives
What are the benefits of a Home Energy Assessment?
A Home Energy Assessment will help you save energy at home which provides a variety of benefits including:
• Lower utility bills
• Increased health, comfort, and safety
• Reduced Environmental Impact
• Increased home value
How does the group purchase work?
The Queen Village Neighbors Association is making it easier and more affordable for homeowners to get a Home Energy Assessment by organizing a group discount with a local BPI and RESNET certified contractor, Star Energy Solutions. *Energy Assessments will be available for the following prices.
• Homes under 2,500 square feet: $110 (w/ a $40 rebate from the contractor after completion)
• Homes over 2,500 square feet: $150 plus $100 for every additional 1,000 square feet and $50 for each additional heating and cooling zone. (w/ a $40 rebate from the contractor after completion)
When will I get my Energy Assessment?
The Energy Assessments will be performed in August and September and can be done on both weekends and weekdays.How do I participate?
Sign up by answering six questions about your home and providing contact information. The auditor will use this information to begin a profile of your home and will contact you to schedule the audit. Click here to get started.
QVNA and EnergyWorks
The QVNA’s neighborhood retrofit program will be conducted in partnership with EnergyWorks. EnergyWorks is a public program funded by the US Department of Energy and overseen by the
Posted in Uncategorized
March 9th, 2012 by admin
In the world of lighting a watt goes a lot further than it did when we were growing up. Gone are the days when you need 40 watts to get the right brightness out of that living room lamp, now a 10 watt CFL will do the trick. So now that incandescents are playing a diminishing rolls in our lives, it’s time to learn how to shop for lightbulbs based on lumens rather than watts. Lumens measure brightness, so when your looking to replace that 60 watt incandescent that just burned out you’re looking for a bulb that will generate 800 lumens. Use the chart below to find that perfect, efficient replacement for your incandescent bulbs and remember, the more lumens your getting per watt, the more energy efficient the bulb is.
|Incandescent Bulbs (Watts)||Minimum Light Output (Lumens)||Common Energy Star Qualified Bulbs (Watts)|
Posted in Uncategorized
March 5th, 2012 by admin
Reliability – CFLs suffer from early-life failures up to 13% of the time and often have significant reduction in lumen output before the halfway point in their life. While EnergyStar has only recently begun to do off the shelf testing for CFLs, LEDs have been subject to random EnergyStar testing since their inception to eliminate the reliability problems that have plagued CFLs.
Versatility – LEDs perform in all environments, including those that were particularly problematic for CFLs – cold climates and frequent power cycling.
Recyclability – Since LEDs do not contain hazardous materials they are significantly easier to recycle than CFLs.
February 28th, 2012 by admin
Efficiency – The current generation of LEDs typically produce 60% more lumens per watt than compact fluorescents (CFLs) on the market today and are improving quickly. Expect LEDs to achieve double the efficiency of CFLs in the next couple of years.
Longevity – LEDs last about 50,000 hours, more than 8 times as long as CFLs.
Safety – LEDs are far more break resistant than CFLs and when they do break you don’t have to worry about human or environmental contamination because LEDs do not contain hazardous materials.
February 16th, 2012 by admin
Lemnis just brought us one step closer to ending the days of the compact fluorescent by introducing the $4.95, 25 watt equivalent, Pharox 200. The bulb is for non-dimming applications, runs on 5 watts, and comes with a one year warranty. Lemnis is also offering higher wattage models, including bulbs designed for dimming, ranging in price from $6.95 – $11.95.
All bulbs are sold exclusively through Pharox-Led.com
February 9th, 2012 by admin
If you haven’t already programmed your thermostat, halfway through a mild winter isn’t a bad time to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind when your thinking about or actually programming your thermostat:
A properly programmed thermostat you can save more than hundreds of dollars (up to 10% of your heating bill) every year in energy costs.
2. For the Unprogrammed
Turning your thermostat up to 90 degrees doesn’t heat your house any faster.
3. Intro to Thermodynamics
The lower the temperature in your house, the slower your house gets colder. So the longer your house remains at a colder temperature, the less energy your house uses, and the more money you save.
And for those of you who want your thermostat to program itself – check out the Nest.
May 31st, 2011 by admin
If you live in; Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, Delaware or Montgomery Counties, have we got a deal for you! Energy Works, a program administered by the non-profit Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, is offering the rare opportunity of access to a complete, comprehensive Home Energy Audit for the unbeatable price of $150*! Working with a sizable energy grant from the State, this limited time offer is intended to spur home efficiency projects and awareness in the Philadelphia region, and comes just in time for Air Conditioning season.
The Energy Works program utilizes BPI certified private energy auditors and approved contractors and provides their own measurement and verification system to apply rebates to completed home improvements.
Fill out the contact form to speak with an Energy Works energy auditor, learn more about programs and schedule your audit-
*$150 base price applies to homes up to 2500 sqft. Plus $50 for every additional 500 sqft and $100 for additional heating/cooling zones.
Posted in Uncategorized
February 7th, 2011 by Clay
The backbone to any home energy audit – a blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings and the auditor can use a thermal camera to detect air leaks in your home. A calibrated blower door will be able to tell you the overall infiltration rate of a building, while an uncalibrated blower door will only locate leaks. A calibrated test will also allow the auditor to rank the cost effectiveness of different air sealing home improvements.
A blower door test is part of PPL and First Energy home energy efficiency energy audit programs – so what can you do to prepare?
- Shut windows and open interior doors
- Turn down thermostats
- Cover ashes in wood stoves and fireplaces with damp newspapers
- Shut fireplace dampers, fireplace doors, and wood stove air intakes.
Posted in Energy Efficiency
January 31st, 2011 by Clay
If you’re in Senator Anthony Williams’ District (8th) which straddles West Philadelphia and parts of Delaware County then you have an outstanding opportunity to make your home more efficient at no cost. Energy Works Plus is now available to residents in the 8th district that have been denied Keystone HELP loans. Thanks to funding from Drexel University, Energy Works Plus provides residents with a free Energy Audit ($400 value) and up to $1,400 in efficiency improvements. This $1,800 value is available if you live in the following zip codes.
- 19139 - 19023
- 19143 - 19024
- 19104 - 19032
- 19131 - 19036
- 19142 - 19050
- 19153 - 19074
- 19145 - 19076
- 19146 - 19078
January 24th, 2011 by Clay
50%-70% of energy consumed in the average American home is used for heating and cooling. Insulating your home can reduce your heating and cooling load by 20% and increase the comfort of your in both hot and cold weather.
Insulation comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all of it will be rated on its thermal resistance (R-value). The higher the R-value the greater the insulation effectiveness. You can install some forms of insulation yourself while others requires a professional contractor.
Types of Insulation
Blankets (batts or rolls) – Made of mineral fiber this form of insulation can be installed by the homeowner or a professional. Cut the batts down to size to fit them into areas.
Blown-in loose fill – Typically installed by a professional, this form of insulation is ideal for wall cavities and unfinished attic floors.
Spray Foam – In the cavities of a new home a professional can apply cellulose and fiberglass fibers in the form of a foam.
Foam Insulation – Applied by a professional using special equipment to meter, mix, and spray the foam into place. Polyisocyanurate and polyurethane foam insulation is produced in two forms: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-celled foam allows water vapor to move through the material more easily than closed-cell foam, but usually has a lower R-value for a given thickness compared to closed-cell foams. So, some closed-cell foams are able to provide a greater R-value where space is limited.
Rigid Insulation – Made from fibrous materials or plastic foams and produced in board-like forms and molded pipe coverings. These provide full coverage with few heat loss paths and are often able to provide a greater R-value where space is limited. Rigid insulation is often used for foundations and as an insulative wall sheathing.
Penn Power, Penelec, and Met-Ed are all currently offering rebates for insulation.