Columbia Home Audits Save City's Energy and Residents' Money

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COLUMBIA - Turning the lights off isn't the only way to help reduce energy costs at home.

Not having the right amount of insulation, or neglecting to seal cracks in the walls, can add up.

"One, it can make the home more drafty, and two, the heat or air conditioning in your home will be lost at a much faster pace," said Columbia Water and Light Home Performance Manager Brandon Renaud.

This means a higher energy bill for home owners and wasted energy for the city.

By having a building inspector audit their homes, residents can prevent wasted energy and lower their utility bill as well.

Renaud estimates residents can save anywhere from ten to 15 percent on their utility bills on an annual basis by making a few changes.

Columbia Water and Light also offers rebates to residents who have their homes audited by one of 12 building inspection agencies in the area.

And along with lowering residents' utility bills, audits can also make staying at home a more comfortable experience.

"Almost always people notice that the home is more comfortable, it's quieter, the temperatures don't vary as much. You don't have hot rooms and cold rooms. And that's how we know that the improvements are already starting to work. The home is more comfortable and that will turn into energy savings over time," said Renaud.

This is the fifth year Columbia Water and Light has partnered with auditors to offer rebates, and it says it's on track to do about one thousand audits before the end of this year.