Leigh Lockhart, owner of Main-Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe, talks about her experience going through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R)opens in a new window in her 1940’s Columbia home. I knew the assessment would give me an excellent game plan for how to make my home more energy efficient.
“The money I save in my monthly utilities has helped me pay down my mortgage faster and that feels AWESOME.”
Q: What made you decide to get a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® assessment?
A: I knew my 1940’s home needed updates and I like to make repairs and improvements that are both sustainable and cost effective. I knew the assessment would give me an excellent game plan for how to make my home more energy efficient as well as more comfortable and affordable.
Q: How did you first hear about it?
A: I believe I was approached by a friend who told me more about the program & how I could get rebates for going through it.
Q: How long did the assessment take?
A: Several hours.
Q: What energy efficient upgrades were suggested to you as a result of the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR?
A: Thermal windows, blown in insulation, loads of air sealing, tuck pointing and gap filling around my doors and windows, and a new HVAC heat pump.
Q: Were you able to get rebates from your electric utility?
A: Yes from both Ameren and the City!
Q: Did you get a low interest loan to help with the upgrades?
A: Yes at an astonishingly low rate!
Q: Have you seen a difference since the upgrades?
A: A huge difference. Most importantly my home is super comfortable year round. There are no more drafts, or leaks, all the windows open and close and allow me to not even use AC unless the temp is above 95 or the humidity is really high. And of course I am saving money of both my electric and gas bills.
Q: What advice do you have for Columbia residents considering an energy audit through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program?
A: Well I learned an awful lot about my house and about energy loss and conservation because of the audit. I would recommend it for all home owners whether they are ready to make the investment in improvements now or are just trying to make a plan for the future. Also, the City employees are great to work with and gave me lots of advice of cheap fixes for little projects I could do myself.
The money I save in my monthly utilities has helped me pay down my mortgage faster and that feels AWESOME.
Q: What else do you do to save energy at home?
A: Well I really don’t turn on my heat or my AC until it gets below 50 or above 95 because my house is so well insulated. My whole house or attic fan does a terrific job of keeping me comfortable 80% of the time. I also installed a super efficient gas insert in place of a wood stove that gives me plenty of heat in the central rooms of the house and again because of the blown in insulation I usually don’t need the heat on in the evening. I also bought a high efficiency washer that is also a dryer that uses only 2 gallons of water per load and does not need to be vented (thus I don’t need to exhaust and then replace that air).
You can get a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® assessment too. Whether you’re a Water & Light customer, or Boone Electric, all you have to do is contact one of these approved contractorsopens in a new window and let them know you’re ready to save money & energy at home!