Energy Audits Could Help You Save Big Bucks – IF you have the right information

You might think that the average person would take advantage of opportunities to save money without giving up anything in return.  But, you’d be wrong.

Last fall, APS issued a report that concluded that energy efficiency measures were a low- or no-cost way of regaining lost energy because of leaky windows, outdated light bulbs and wasted gasoline.  Surprisingly, many folks haven’t taken steps to become more energy efficient.

But why?

One reason is that consumers aren’t getting enough information.  Ask any homeowner if his or her home is an efficient user of electricity, and the answer will likely be “I don’t know.”   APS has proposed a legislative solution to educate consumers:  require that ALL existing homes, upon point of sale, undergo an energy efficiency audit.  Consumers could use the valuable information in the audits to make decisions about simple upgrades, saving them thousands of dollars in annual energy costs.

The audits are a relatively lost-cost way of finding out whether your prospective home will produce high energy bills, and if so, what you can do to lower them.  The audits are similar to other typical home inspections covering items like termites and radon.  Would you buy a house if you didn’t know about possible termite damage or if the roof was leaky? Probably not.

Surprisingly, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) wants to deny such information to consumers. NAR has been fighting the audit requirement and is worried that it might reduce the selling price of some homes – and presumably the commissions NAR members earn in the process.  In an era of high electricity prices and concern about climate change, the last thing we should be doing is robbing consumers of valuable information that can help them save money and fight global warming in the process.

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