Produced by Central Vermont Community Action Council In partnership with Efficiency Vermont
What will we learn today? Why should we Button Up Vermont? What are the energy conservation and efficiency opportunities? How do homes and buildings lose heat? Take Action! Resources to help you Button Up.
Conservation – Use less energy, mostly low and no cost options. Efficiency – Get more work per unit of energy used with efficient technologies. Opportunities defined
Turn back your thermostat For each degree you turn the thermostat down in the winter (around the clock) you save about 2% on your bill. A programmable thermostat makes setting back the temperature more convenient.
Reduce hot water usage Set hot water tank temperature to 120 degrees F Wrap warm pipes and electric tank Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators
Save energy when you do laundry ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes washers save water, energy, and time Wash in cold water Only wash full loads Air-dry clothes outside
Reduce “phantom” load Phantom load: When your electronics are off, they may still use power – power that you pay for! Home electronics account for about 15% of household electricity use. Use an Advanced Power Strip to shut the power off for you.
Switch to efficient lighting Lighting accounts for about 20% of annual household electricity bills, or approximately $200 per year. Replace incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs)
Choose ENERGY STAR ® If you have an older refrigerator, it’s likely that it uses more electricity than any other appliance in your home – up to 12.5% of your annual use. –ENERGY STAR Refrigerators can save you up to $100 per year on your electric bill
Maintain your heating system Whether you have a furnace or a boiler, proper maintenance is important. Seal ducts outside heated space Keep air registers clear Consider investing in a more efficient heating system Images courtesy Efficiency Vermont
Types of heat transfer Convection: Heat carried by moving air or fluid Conduction: Heat flows through solids Radiation: Heat flows through space as infrared light waves
Warm air pushes upward through holes at the top of house Warm air leaks through the top, creating negative pressure that sucks in cold air through holes at the bottom Stack effect drives convective heat loss
The building envelope Energy efficient homes are wrapped in a continuous “building envelope” that connects two barriers: –Air Barrier: Stops air leaks that are coming through the attic and basement – aka “The Shell” or “Windbreaker” –Thermal Barrier: Resists conductive heat loss – aka “The Sweater” – but is less effective if air flows through it
Air sealing creates an air barrier Stops air leaks that are coming through the attic and basement – “The Shell” or “Windbreaker” Photo courtesy of GoAbout Photography
Common leaks in Vermont homes Image courtesy of US EPA
Example of air leakage Air leaking into the attic wastes heat, melts snow, and causes roof ice. Moisture condenses and promotes mold growth.
Air sealing priorities Attic – you can stop warm air leaking out Basement – you can stop cold air being sucked in Center level of house – can be tough to work on and costly
Seal the attic hatch Weather-stripping is a cost-effective way to create a seal and insulate your attic hatch Images courtesy of EnergySmart of Vermont
Seal plumbing penetrations Images courtesy of Efficiency Vermont
Seal chimney bypass Images courtesy of David Keefe
Common leaks at the bottom of the house BOX SILL – RIM JOIST Image courtesy of US EPA
Seal the bulkhead door Image courtesy of EnergySmart of Vermont
Seal with caulk or spray foam around rigid foam at: –junction of sill and foundation, –foundation windows, –plumbing and wiring penetrations, –and small cracks in the foundation. Seal the box sills & foundation Images courtesy of EnergySmart of Vermont AfterBefore
Insulation creates a thermal barrier Insulation helps your home resist conductive heat loss. “The Sweater” – but is less effective if air flows through it Photo courtesy of GoAbout Photography
Conduction and R-Values R-values measure a material’s resistance to conductive heat transfer Materials with higher resistance to heat transfer have higher R-values (commonly called “insulation”) Materials with lower resistance to heat transfer have low R-values, such as glass, steel, concrete, wood, and wallboard
Add insulation After air sealing, add insulation to achieve recommended R-values, where feasible The thermal barrier (“Sweater”) should always be in contact with air barrier (“Windbreaker”) Photo courtesy of GoAbout Photography
Add insulation Blowing cellulose fiber into closed cavities (wall, slant, floor) stops air movement and adds insulation in one step Insulating un-insulated walls and attics is one of the most cost- effective energy improvements you can make. Photo Courtesy of Vermont Dept. of Children and Families
Taking action is as easy as A, B, C: A: Get an Energy Audit/ Assessment –Choose the service that is right for you Weatherization Assistance Program Home Performance with ENERGY STAR ® DIY Home Performance B: Button Up – Make the improvements C: Cash In on incentives or rebates
What service is right for you? If you are income eligible, you should contact your local Weatherization Assistance Program to find out about free home energy improvements. When you participate in Efficiency Vermont’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR ® program, you work with a certified contractor and have access to incentives: –Professional Contractor –Do-It-Yourself
Vermont’s Weatherization Assistance Program Free diagnostic and improvement services for low-income Vermonters, operated by Community Action Agencies and other agencies See handout for income eligibility Call 211 – State hot-line
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR ® Hire a participating contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute Eligible for up to $2,000 in incentives from Efficiency Vermont upon completion Visit www.efficiencyvermont.com to find a participating contractor
DIY Home Performance with ENERGY STAR ® Homeowners work under the guidance of a participating contractor to complete the home energy improvements themselves DIY Program Participants receive: –Professional energy audit and detailed audit report –Direct technical assistance from contractor –Mid-term inspection after air sealing –Final inspection after completion of work by homeowner
DIY Home Performance with ENERGY STAR ® Participants are encouraged to work with a DIY contractor (list on Efficiency Vermont’s website) Eligible for up to $2,000 in incentives from Efficiency Vermont upon completion Homeowners pay for materials and contractor’s time.
What to expect from these home energy improvement services A BPI certified professional to guide your home energy improvements Air sealing and insulation Heating system improvements and recommendations Moisture control and ventilation Health and safety issues addressed
Why health and safety matter A BPI certified professional will test and correct any issues with: –Carbon monoxide caused by incomplete burning –Moisture and mold which can cause health and building problems. –Backdrafting: combustion gases coming back in your house –Other health and safety issues
It all starts with getting an energy audit/assessment An energy audit is a comprehensive evaluation of your home’s: –Air leakage, –Insulation levels –Heating system safety –Appliance efficiency and safety An energy audit report includes: –Professional advice on ways to improve the comfort and durability of your home with cost estimates –Assistance in prioritizing energy efficiency improvements to fit your budget Home energy audits average approximately $400/home
Energy audit An energy audit will: Find where air is leaking –Using a blower door test to help quantify air leakage Prioritize air sealing –Start with the worst leaks Image courtesy Energy Conservatory.
Energy audit An energy audit will: Look for areas of heat loss. – This may include: Using Infrared (IR) Thermography to provide an accurate picture of temperature differences in your home or small business
Building Performance Program Have a small business or rental property? Building Performance rebates will reduce the costs of the audit and insulation upgrades Efficiency Vermont offers up to $5,000 per building to help pay for energy efficiency improvements Hire a participating contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute Visit www.efficiencyvermont.com to find a participating contractor
About renewable energy Efficiency first, then renewable energy Solar energy: includes passive solar design for space heating, hot water, and electrical needs Biomass – wood pellets and cordwood Small-scale wind – limited applications Incentives available from Renewable Energy Resource Center at 877-888-7372
How do you pay for this? Incentives from Efficiency Vermont pay for a portion of the work. Low-interest loans from participating lenders (credit unions and banks) 4%-9% NeighborWorks Alliance of Vermont: low interest loans for income-qualified homeowners www.vthomeownership.orgwww.vthomeownership.org
Practice no-cost energy conservation Invest in low-cost efficiency options Choose the home energy service that’s right for you Get an energy audit Button Up to do list