Archive for the ‘energy efficiency’ Category


January 17, 2011

On Friday we received a letter from the City informing us that we had been approved for a low-interest loan for to complete energy-efficiency/building performance projects.  Last year we had a home energy audit which detailed issues and prioritized solutions in terms of feasibility and payback.  Of course, it can cost quite a bit to address these issues so we sat on the report. Then in November we were invited by the City to participate in a pilot program where the City provides low interest loans to homeowners so they can complete these projects.  Ideally, you pay back the loan each month with money you save on your utility bill.  I can guarantee we won’t have our gas bill reduced $89/month (our monthly loan payment) but I still think its a great idea as we are not just saving money every month but will hopefully be making our home significantly more comfortable.

We received two bids for work.  The first contractor came at it with the approach of a remodeling project than a retrofitting  or weatherization project.  I don’t doubt that gutting the house and reconstructing it would be the ideal strategy if money were no object but Tanya and I decided it wasn’t in our best interest to spend $40,000 to $80,000 on our basement.  Especially since some houses on our block aren’t worth 80K. The second contractor gave us a bid of $7000 to seal an area in the basement, replace/upgrade 3 basement windows, replace/upgrade a hot water heater, replace/upgrade a bath fan, and insulate portions of the attic.  If all goes well, we should be eligible for about $1000 from the state energy efficiency foundation.

The ultimate goal, is to get the upstairs bedrooms and the basement warmer.  And to replace the hot water heater before it totally gives out.  Then we can move on to installing draintiles in the basement and reclaiming one floor of livable space!  But first I need to sign some forms and get some guys over here fixing this stuff!