Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal Part 2

I am in San Diego for the Energy Out West conference (see photo), and I want to write about it, but while it is fresh in my mind I want to fill you in on my latest Energy Upgrade California experience first.

Before getting on a plane for San Diego, Bill Stewart of Stewart Heating and Air met with Michele and I at our home in Walnut Creek. Bill and his company are superstars in home performance around here. Stewart Heating and Air has been around for more than 40 years and until recently the company was a traditional HVAC company. But Bill is one of those business owners who is curious about his craft and keeps learning. He is BPI certified and thinks about a house as a system. And his company has done more than 300 retrofits through the Energy Upgrade California program.

Bill laid out our options and we were both surprised and pleased. I was surprised that, according to modeling, blowing insulation into our walls would lower our energy bill by 17%. This surprised me because we live somewhere between a hot dry climate and a marine climate. I tell people around here that your best option is to insulate your attic if you had to choose what to insulate. (Our attic is already well insulated.)

As I wrote before, Energy Upgrade gives rebates in two ways. You can pick from a set of individual measures or you can go for different levels of energy efficiency. We chose the later. Just having our walls insulated—and a projected energy savings of 17%—would bring us about $1,500 in rebates. So one option we are considering is:

  • Wall insulation
  • New ducts
  • Air sealing (which we would do ourselves)

 

The cost would be approximately $4,000 and we would get about $2,000 in rebates. We would also count on the wall insulation keeping the house cooler in the summer. Right now we have a damper system that brings in fresh air. It would need to be repaired, but we could keep our 24-year old, 60% efficient furnace to keep us warm in the winter and use the damper system to cool the house at night in the summer.

We explored the possibility of getting rid of the furnace and duct system all together and replacing it with a 2, 3, or 4 zone mini-split. That’s the ideal choice but it would be way too expensive for our budget. (Based on Bill’s experience, he estimated the cost would probably be more than $20,000.)

So no mini-split, but here is our other option:

  • Wall Insulation
  • Air sealing (again, we’d do it ourselves)
  • New ducts
  • Hybrid heat pump with a back-up gas furnace

 

That package would cost us about $15,000, but $4,500 of that would be offset by rebates, since it would get us a projected energy savings of 45%. And we have the option of financing some or all of that over 24 months, interest free. And we would be cool in the summer.

 

Hmmmmm.

Views: 160

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Forum Discussions

When is it too windy to use blower door?

Started by Brandon Walton in General Forum. Last reply by Kent Browning on Friday. 10 Replies

Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Started by Barry L NewDelman in General Forum. Last reply by Arnie Katz on Thursday. 2 Replies

Affordable Housing Funding

Started by SUZETT MOFFITT in General Forum. Last reply by Diane Chojnowski on Wednesday. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Profile IconEmily Rhea, Spray-on Foam and Keith Flores joined Home Energy Pros
Friday
Kent Browning replied to Brandon Walton's discussion When is it too windy to use blower door?
"I found this post thru a Google search. I was already a member and have posted a few times. I am a…"
Friday
Home Energy Magazine's video was featured

2017 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero) inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of buil...
Friday
Dave Ransom joined James Sayers's group
Thumbnail

Marketing Energy Efficiency

Sharing ideas, tools and examples of promoting energy efficiency to consumersSee More
Friday

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service