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Cut Energy Bills/Get A Hot New Career


Jim Conlon
Home Energy Audits

  Interview Highlights

  • They do energy audits primarily for residential customers in Washington, DC and Baltimore area.
  • They are now setting up business in the Chicago area.
  • They have been in business for 2 years and that makes him an old timer in the industry.
  • The business is moving very fast and it is very exciting.
  • They tell people how to save money and improve comfort.
  • People are paying too much money on utilities.
  • They are building scientists.
  • A sample client is a couple who wanted to verify that their $40,000 new window quote will be a good investment.
  • They came to the home and found out that their problem was not windows but their heating and cooling system.
  • Most of the things that will save you money are not glamorous and not your windows.
  • They use software that shows you how much money you will save.
  • The audit usually costs from $350 to $500.
  • There are a number of states where utility companies will pay for your energy audit.
  • Utility companies are starting to make money by you saving energy instead of you using more Energy. That is why they pay for the audits.
  • They can recommend contractors and they worry about the people that have been doing it the same way for many years because they may not be aware of new technology.
  • He has a degree in Biology and worked in real estate for a while. He really wanted to get into solar panels.
  • But if you do a good energy audit before you put in solar panels you are going to pay a lot more for your solar system than you have to. There are a lot of other ways that are cheaper to cut down on your bills and then you won’t need so many solar panels.
  • To get training to do energy audits, there are a few non-profits to turn to for help. The Residential Energy Services Network: http://www.RESNET.US and Building Performance Institute: These non-profits set the standards and are the place to go to find qualified training facilities.
  • There is a big problem now because of the demand. There are not enough trainers to train everyone
  • These training classes book out a few months in advance.
  • The cost is generally $1,000 to $1,500 and it takes one week.
  • The Weatherization Money in Obama’s Stimulus package is going to create a big demand for energy auditors.
  • His company just doubled their employees and by the end of the summer they are going to have to hire a bunch more people. You don’t even need a college degree.
  • There is also a lot of training at community colleges around the country.
  • They do carbon footprint analysis and 9 out of 10 times someone’s home has a bigger footprint than their car.
  • There are easy ways to save your energy.
    For example:
    Close your shades at night to keep in the heat
    Learn how to use your programmable thermostat
    Check Air Filter
    Keep refrigerator and AC unit clean.
  • has a lot of good information.
  • Montgomery County, Maryland now thinking about a program that will finance your energy improvements by putting the loan payments as part of the property taxes so if you leave your home soon you don’t lose.