My wife, Sheryl, and I have a condo at Crown Harbor in Alameda:
In a series of blog posts, I outlined the process Sheryl and I followed to make some energy improvements to our home:
- Want to save energy and the planet? Look at your house - not your car.
- A Modest Proposal: Results of My Home Energy Audit
- A Modest Proposal: Improvements based on My Home Energy Audit
I entitled these blog posts based on the fact that we wanted to spend a modest amount of money in exchange for modest savings. Now that some time has passed, I can share some of the monetary aspects.
Here is what we spent:
|Building envelope sealing||$1,409|
|Building Permit Processing||$250|
|BPI Safety Compliance Test||$499|
|Duct replacement and airflow balancing||$1,550|
|Return duct sealing||$473|
From Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), we received a rebate of $1,216. With the help of Advanced Home Energy who performed the work, we also filed a rebate request with the Alameda Power Company. We received a check for $2,300 from Association of Bay Area Governments. In addition, as part of filing 2011 taxes, taxpayers can get a credit by completing Form 5695 - the Residential Energy Credit Form. The Federal Tax program limits the credit to $500 per residence, and since we had already received $450 for the installation of our tankless hot water heater in 2009, we got a $50 credit this time. In June 2012, we received another rebate from PG&E for $201. In Juky 2012, we received another rebate from Alameda Power for $82.
|Out of pocket||$5,430|
|1st PG&E rebate||-$1,216|
|Residential Energy Credit||-$50|
|Alameda Power Rebate||-$2,300|
|2nd PG&E rebate||-$201|
|2nd Alameda Power Rebate||-$82|
Our condo is 1,977 square feet. We have been watching our electric and gas costs since the work was completed in April 2011.
Various factors affect our results like: average daily temperature, price increases from year to year, how much company we have, how long our showers are, or whether or not my wife straightens her hair with a hot iron. :-) Even given all that, we have seen modest savings. Looking at the year 2011 as a whole, we saved $186. For 2012 as a whole, we saved $441. At this rate, given our $1,581 expenses, we will recoup our investment in about 4 years. Actually as the price of energy is likely to increase in the future, the amount of time will probably be less. If you look at our minimum and maximum payments, you can see what a best case scenario would look like.
As I noted at the onset, we undertook this project not for the money, but because we felt our house was broken. When you borrow money to pay $646,000 for a condo, another $1,581 to make it right doesn't seem all that wrong.
Measurement of home energy savings is alive in the lab.