So, you know that amazing feeling when you do something right? Well, we are literally jumping for joy at what we did this week!
ComEd, the energy provider in our area, has a great program for their customers to become more energy efficient. They will come to you and conduct a Home Energy Assessment FOR FREE! During the assessment they’ll review what you have, and what your needs are in order to make your home as energy efficient as possible. The best part? They make changes during their visit that will help you to be more energy efficient immediately! What sorts of changes you ask? Oh - just some amazing products like FREE LED light bulbs to replace EVERY SINGLE incandescent bulb in your house! They can also replace your current power strips with new ones that have a really cool feature. There are 2 standard ‘always on’ plugs. Then you’ll find a ‘control’ plug as well as some green plugs. The control feature is awesome - when you have your control on then the green plugs get power. When it is off, the green plugs get no power at all. For instance, we plugged our TV into the ‘control’ spot. Then, our DVR and surround sound into the green ones. This way, when our TV is on, the DVR and surround sound get power. When the TV is off it is as though those other items are unplugged which of course saves energy! Oh, and we got new shower heads too! Yep, shower heads! They use half the water and literally do not feel like any less pressure... I promise because this is a huge pet peeve of mine!
When I scheduled the assessment and ComEd told me it would take between one and two hours to accomplish this review, we thought, “no way, our home is already pretty efficient with the various devices that we have installed... we've already got the Nest thermostats, all of our can lights are LED, our appliances are energy efficient - we're good”. Well, 3 hours later an Energy Advisor, Eric sure proved us wrong. Eric, by the way, is the friendly and incredibly knowledgeable, helpful technician who showed up. He was a true gem and we really enjoyed spending 3 hours learning about energy efficiency + swapping life stories while he switched all 82 (gasp!) bulbs. And I know what you may be thinking... eww LED bulbs. These are not the original batch of weird looking bulbs with a weirder color light. They are awesome!
Eric first sat down and explained the program and what we would be doing together for the next few hours. He set up his computer and portable printer and we were ready! Eric then went through the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program and also briefly went through other opportunities for energy conservation such as attic insulation with air sealing.
After that, Eric assessed what we had and what we needed. And, best of all, he had all of the bulbs, shower heads, power strips, etc. already in his truck! He proceeded to actually change out the items for us. Never, never would we have thought that this is what would take place. He went through all 3 floors of our home, as well as outside, and replaced everything that was not energy efficient. He got up on step stools and ladders and even the toughest lighting fixtures were no problem for him. Bulbs that were using 100 watts were reduced to 11 watts. 40-watt bulbs were brought down to 5 watts. In all, 82 bulbs, 3 shower heads, and 5 power strips were replaced! This did not cost us anything!!! We can't imagine how much all of these items would be at the local hardware store. And, we are saving each month on our bill! Uh... that my friends is what I like to call a WIN/WIN!
The natural first question (which was ours too) is HOW is this FREE??? Eric explained that Illinois mandates energy efficiency programs. As ComEd customers, we have a line item on our bill paying into these programs. Basically, we’ve been paying for it all along so why not take advantage of it?!?!
Another added benefit is that most of these lightbulbs should not have to be replaced for over 20 years! Yes, you heard me right - 20 years. That means no ladder outside in the winter replacing bulbs or on a tall ladder anywhere. And someday when we move, the next owners will benefit from these energy saving tactics too.
Afterward, Eric inputted various numbers into his computer and came up with a calculation that these changes alone would save us approximately $500 per year without doing anything else! Even if you think saving $500 isn’t that big of a deal, let me tell you, no one would take two $20 bills, tear them up, and throw them in the garbage. That’s what it would be like doing every month without these changes. That $500 a year, if put aside and saved, would be a very handy amount to have as part of your savings. Not to mention saving on constantly buying bulbs all the time.
Eric also explained how we should have an insulation and sealant consultant out and get bids on increasing that in our home too. Some people have too little insulation which is bad, but then again, some people have too much insulation, and that can cause both moisture and mold. And, if the little cracks aren’t sealed as well, then you can still be getting too much moisture and air into your home too. One thing Eric did while he was here was insulate the pipe from our hot water heater making even that more energy efficient!
This was such a pleasant and money-saving experience. During the assessment, my parents stopped by and they had never heard of the program and are going to have an assessment done too. A friend of ours also stopped by and was amazed at what had just taken place so he asked for the number as well. Do yourselves a favor and CALL FOR YOUR ASSESSMENT! Seriously, call! Even if you think you're doing everything right (trust me, we did too), call... you'll be shocked at how much more efficient you can be and just how much money you can save. I'm not sure if you can request a technician or not but if I were you, I'd try! Eric was awesome.
Sometimes things work out so much better than you expect and, in this case, – wow we couldn't be happier!!! If you’re a ComEd customer just visit this webpage or call 855- 433-2700 to schedule your home energy assessment.
It is important to note that though I was compensated by ComEd for this post, all opinions are my own.