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Home Energy Assessment

Photo Credit: Peter Thompson, La Crosse Tribune

What is a home energy assessment?
A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home uses and what you need to do to make improvements to increase your comfort and help you save energy and money. The assessment uses takes several hours depending on the size, age and condition of your home. As part of the assessment, your contractor may conduct the following diagnostic tests: blower door, infrared camera and combustion safety.

What is the cost of an energy assessment?
The cost of an energy assessment is $350; however, if you meet certain income guidelines, the cost of the assessment is just $50.

What happens during a home energy assessment?
Rather than focusing on a single problem, like not enough insulation in the attic, leaky windows or mold, mildew or ventilation issues, an energy assessment takes into account the whole home. This whole home approach gives the homeowner a broader understanding of the issues in the home and provides a plan on how improvements throughout the home can work together to improve the homeowner's comfort and help them reduce their energy consumption.

What happens after I have had the energy assessment?
After the energy assessment, the homeowner will receive a home energy report. This report will provide recommendations on how to improve your home and the incentives available to make the improvements more affordable.

What are some of the common recommendations for home energy efficiency?
Air sealing and insulation recommendations are the most common recommendations followed by replacement of old or inefficient heating and cooling equipment.

I already know what energy efficiency work needs to be done on my home. Do I have to get an energy assessment?
To participate in the program, an energy assessment has to be performed to ensure the improvements are within Focus on Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program details.

Getting the Work Done

After I receive the list of recommendations from my contractor, how do I decide which ones to complete?
Your contractor will help you decide which improvements to make based on your family's needs and budget.

Can I take the energy assessment report to my own contractor?
To make it easier and more convenient for participants, the City has three local Focus on Energy Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Trade Ally contractors. You are welcome to choose to work with any of these contractors.

Can I make the improvements myself?
To receive the incentives, all improvements must be made by qualified Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractors. These contractors are Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified contractors and must abide by material and installation standards.

What type of improvements will the Challenge cover?
The Mayor's Home Energy Challenge will help offset the cost of your air sealing and insulation improvements. Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy also offer incentives for heating and cooling equipment.

Benefits of Participation

Why do homeowners decide to make improvements?
The primary reason is their home is not comfortable followed by high energy bills. They may have leaky doors and windows, are experiencing drafts or temperature fluctuations throughout their home, or have mold, mildew or ventilation issues. Ice dams are also a common reason homeowners make improvements.

After I receive the list of recommendations from my contractor, how do I decide which improvements to complete?
Your contractor will help you decide which improvements to make based on your family's needs and budget.

Participation & Eligibility Details

Who is eligible to participate in the Challenge?
The Challenge is available to City of La Crosse property owners (homeowners and landlords) who are current on their property taxes. To receive Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy incentives, the home must be 1-3 unit single-family home and receive their home's primary heating fuel from Xcel Energy.

How much will my energy assessment cost?
The cost of an energy assessment is $350; however, if you meet certain income guidelines, the cost of the assessment is just $50.

When is the best time to get an energy assessment?
The best time to get an energy assessment is prior to the heating and cooling seasons.

How do I schedule an energy assessment?
The City of La Crosse will assist you in scheduling an energy assessment with your chosen contractor. Please call 608.789.7513 to learn more.

I own rental property. Can I still get an energy assessment and participate in the Challenge?
Landlords who own rental property in the City of La Crosse and are current on their property taxes are eligible to participate in the Challenge.

About the Partners

What is Focus on Energy?
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' energy efficiency and renewable resource program since 2001. Its mission is to deliver real measureable energy and financial savings for Wisconsin's residents and businesses as installing cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects creates jobs, upgrades local infrastructure and improves the environment. Since 2011, Focus on Energy has delivered more than $1 billion worth of new economic benefits to Wisconsin. Learn more

What is the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program?
Focus on Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program helps homeowners make air sealing and insulation improvements as well as replace or upgrade their heating and cooling equipment. The program offers several paths to savings, with incentives and expert guidance available for energy improvements. To achieve the greatest benefits, it's best to look at your home as a system with many different parts all working together. The rights mix of improvements can make a huge difference in how your home performs and how comfortable you feel in your home. Learn more

Why is Xcel Energy offering an additional bonus?
Xcel Energy is a partner of Focus on Energy and is committed to helping their utility customers make smart energy efficiency improvements. Learn more