Our local utility is offering a $350 energy audit' for $50. I've done some reading on here and already have fixed some issues with my 1600 sq ft house built in 2000. Combined gas/electric bill currently averages about $150/mo for a family of 4. I do not own a thermal imaging gun or a blower door, would it be worth the $50 to have them come do the blower door/thermal imaging?
I'm with Eugene on this ethics issue. Looking for work while inside the house, ostensibly to help the client, and then pretending to offer unbiased truth about the situation which one finds in a home seems like carrying water on both shoulders.
It stinks a bit of selfishness dressed up in an energy auditor suit. Better to stay true to the mission of telling, not selling. Discover, inform, check for understanding, and walk away. Call them back that night to ask if they have thought of any questions about what you found, but DON'T even try to go for the wallet. It scums up your words and the mission of helping them see when you turn cheap. Chances are that this kind of behavior will sour people on our profession. I know it's done all over, but I think it's unethical and I'm sure the homeowner feels this way too.
While I agree that the person performing the audit should be trained, qualified and certified, just because that auditor happens to be employed by a utility does not make the auditor untrustworthy. I happen to be a certified auditor in the Member Service department and an electric cooperative. We offer $150, full-blown audits to our members. Blower door, thermal imaging, leakage testing, full report presented to the homewoner, AND a post audit performed showing the improvements. It would be no different than having a 3rd party audit performed, except for the cost. I'm sure that is where the negative comments on this forum are derived from. I apologize if we big, bad utility guys are cutting into a private auditor's business, but that's part of the advantage of belonging to a co-op.
We DO NOT secretly bill the member additional costs in any shape of form. I'm not sure where you get that information, but I can tell you honestly that cooperatives operate much differently than a private electric utility. We are non-profit. We work hard to maintain lower rates and we GIVE our members many perks, such as discounted, credible residential audits.