Professional Energy Audits
If conducting a do-it-yourself energy assessment isn’t right for you, you can leave it to the professionals. Most professional energy audits aren’t free, but getting one can save you time, energy, and money in the long run.
In Virginia, professional energy auditors performing the common tests to assess a home’s energy efficiency, such as a blower door test, are now required to obtain a license from the Commonwealth. Energy raters and auditors must be trained in approved programs and licensed as a residential building energy analyst by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Board for Contractors. Energy professionals may be certified by programs such as:
- Building Performance Institute
- Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
- Residential Energy Services Network – Get a Home Energy Rating
Local energy organizations can also walk you through the energy assessment process and match you with a qualified energy auditor and contractor in your area. Find the programs in your area.
What You Need To Know
- Professional assessments are a good option to ensure that you’re identifying all potential energy waste in your home — especially those in tough-to-spot or difficult-to-access areas like crawl spaces and attics.
- A professional home energy audit can take from four to eight hours and may cost between $300 and $500. Before selecting an auditor, ask how much the audit costs and what it includes. Many auditors offer different types of audits at different prices, so make sure you know what you’re getting.
- The auditor will ask you questions about your comfort level or any drafty areas in the home and may analyze your energy bill for you.
- They will go room by room through your home taking notes, conducting tests, and looking for potential energy savings. The auditor will also test your heating and cooling system to see if it is running well or needs a tuneup. A typical assessment includes a blower door test, which tells the auditor how well your house is insulated.
- The company providing the audit may be able to do the recommended work at an additional cost, but you can avoid the extra charge by doing the work yourself. Following through on an audit’s recommendations may save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual and long-term energy costs.
Potential Cost Savings
You may be eligible for a discount or rebate for your professional energy assessment through your utility company or local energy program. Many utility companies and social service organizations also provide income-qualified customers with free or low-cost energy audits. If you qualify, you may also be eligible for financing, incentives, and rebates to implement the auditor’s recommendations. Visit our Incentives and Rebates page to explore utility and government credits and rebates.