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How do I know if I can participate?
Homeowners located in PSO's service territory and served by a PSO electric meter are eligible.
What are the benefits to having an energy evaluation?
Having an evaluation and completing the suggested improvements will help improve your home's:
Comfort: appropriate levels of insulation and air sealing eliminate drafts and give you more control over indoor air quality and temperature
Safety: by identifying and eliminating potentially dangerous carbon monoxide levels due to inadequate venting of your heating system and/or water heater
Durability: by preventing warm, moist air from inside the home, as well as rain and external moisture, from entering walls and attic spaces and causing structural damage
Energy Efficiency: by reducing monthly heating and cooling costs
Why should I consider upgrading my home's energy efficiency over other types of home improvements?
Energy efficiency upgrades will improve the comfort of your home while making sure the occupants in your home are living in a safe environment, thereby protecting your most important investment, your home, and its treasured occupants, your family. As a result of the improvements, you will reduce your energy usage every month.
Is this the kind of work I could do myself?
While some of these improvements could be completed by a handy do-it-yourselfer, PSO recommends using a certified service provider to ensure that root causes, not just symptoms, are addressed. These service providers are certified to use appropriate diagnostic equipment and techniques to optimize the energy efficiency of your home. They are also trained to identify and remedy potentially hazardous and unhealthy situations by providing adequate ventilation and ensuring that combustion appliance byproducts aren't being released into the living space.
How can I be sure the service provider is performing quality work?
PSO is responsible for ensuring that participating service providers maintain high standards for quality. This typically includes providing specialized training for service providers and conducting quality assurance inspections to verify that projects get done right.
What are some cost-effective improvements that a service provider can make to a home?
Depending on the home, improvements may include sealing gaps, cracks and other leaks that let outside air into a home, adding insulation and sealing, insulating or replacing air ducts that run through attics or crawlspaces. They may also include repairing or replacing old or poorly functioning heating and cooling systems and appliances. Installing ENERGY STAR® qualified lighting is another common, cost-effective improvement.
What are some common recommendations made for homes?
Common recommendations include sealing air leaks and adding insulation, sealing ductwork, improving heating and cooling systems and upgrading lighting and appliances.
Why are health and safety testing important when conducting home energy improvements?
Improper functioning combustion appliances—water heaters, furnaces, ovens and stoves—can produce carbon monoxide and other indoor air pollutants. Under certain circumstances, these byproducts can cause minor health effects or deadly situations. Inspecting and testing combustion appliances helps to ensure safe operation and peace of mind in knowing that potentially dangerous combustion gases are not being introduced into the home. Participating service providers test appliances before and after performing any energy improvements to the home.
I've heard that homes can become too tight, which causes indoor air quality problems. What if this happens?
It is likely that the energy efficiency improvements performed on your home will result in your home becoming more airtight. To ensure that the increased air tightness does not cause air quality or combustion safety problems and to ensure that the service provider has completed all work properly, the service provider is required to repeat the tests performed during the initial home performance evaluation. The service provider will also inspect the work performed and review it with you to make sure you are satisfied. On rare occasions, this final test will reveal conditions that do not meet the program's health, safety and technical requirements. If this is the case, the service provider will recommend modifications or additional measures to bring the home into compliance, which will be finished before the job is considered complete.
How long will it take for the improvements to be made to my home?
To complete the contracted improvements to your home, your service provider may have to visit your home on multiple days. It is strongly recommended that, at a minimum, you meet with the service provider at the beginning of each day before work begins, and at the end of the day to review progress and to help you better understand the impact the work will have on your home. Be aware that the normal routine of your household may be disrupted while the service provider performs the improvements.
What if the service provider visits my home but I decide not to move forward with any improvements?
Once your evaluation is complete and you receive your service provider's recommendations, it is your choice whether to move forward with the improvements and sign a contract. But remember, these improvements can improve the energy efficiency, indoor air quality and comfort of your home, while reducing your energy usage. Therefore, you and your family will greatly benefit from moving forward with the recommended improvements.
Should I accompany the service provider during the evaluation?
Yes, you should accompany your service provider during the evaluation and ask questions. Your participation will help you when discussing the evaluation findings and your service provider's recommendations.