HOME ENERGY AUDIT

The amount spent on energy depends on the type of fuels used (such as electricity, oil, LPG and Wood) as well as the rate at which it sells for in your locality. in most cases, especially in Kenya, the price of these fuels may be outside of one’s control as a property owner, but one thing is certain; the less energy your home consumes, the more the savings on your electricity bill.

One surest way on ensuring that you are as efficient (and, therefore, as conservative) as possible in energy spending is conduct a home energy audit.

What is Home Energy Audit?

A home energy audit means assessing your home, and determining what improvements that can lead to greater energy efficiency.

  • A home energy audit help assess all of your home’s energy uses and outline all of the specifics.
  • The audit helps identify a particular home is losing energy and auditor gives recommendations on how to improve efficiency and save money spent on energy.
  • Your home is among the easiest and most obvious places to start to reduce electricity consumption without affecting your comfort.
  • Home energy audit can be as simple as walking around the home and making a list of changes that look simple and which can be made straight away. Alternatively, a professional energy auditor can be hired to conduct an in-depth analysis.

Professional Energy Auditors use professional grade equipment that is specifically designed to provide accurate measurements. A professional audit provides the most complete picture of your home’s energy use.

However, some homeowners choose to conduct their own energy audit.

How to conduct your own mini home energy audit

While having a professional do your energy audit is the best way to identify the problem areas in your home, there are a few energy savings tips that can help you make energy efficiency improvements on your own. These include:

  1. Switching OFF lights that are not in use especially in corridors, washrooms and bedroom
  2. Switching OFF electronics when no one is using them such as television sets, computers etc.
  3. Load control is critical. For example, if you are boiling water for washing hands, only boil the quantity required instead of filling the kettle while you only need a small portion
  4. Allow food to cool down before putting into the fridge. This helps in reducing the cooling load.
  5. Pre-plan on your warmers/microwaves. You can reduce energy requirement by removing the food/beverage from fridge some time before warming.
  6. When buying new equipment, check on energy star-rating. A more efficient equipment/electronic will help you save more. Examples are LED lights.

What to expect from a home energy audit?

Professional home energy audits can take about 30 minutes to 4 hours, though this is dependent on the size the home. Special tools are used in carrying out measurements to establish the problem(s) and come up with recommendations. The figure below shows loads to expect in a typical home.

How much is the cost of an energy audit cost, and, how much can one save?

  • The charges for a home energy audit are dependent on the scope of work. The auditor visits the facility to check the loads that are available, and this informs the type of tools to use and man-hours required to perform the task.
  • It is estimated that a home can save between 5% and 30% of the electricity bills. This implies that though the upfront cost of conducting the audit is high, the resulting recommendations will be worth it.

When to Conduct a Home Energy Audit

The best time to conduct a home energy audit is anytime. The sooner the energy saving measures are determined and implemented, the sooner you start saving money and enjoying the benefits.