My home’s energy checkup

Anne BrockOur Town Outdoors

Is your house keeping you cozy and on budget for utility bills? The EnergyRight program declares that “Average Valley Homes that achieve a 10 (on the EnergyRight Efficiency Report) can expect up to 20% savings on energy costs.”

My house scored a 7 out of 10 on its recent checkup for energy efficiency by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Now I have a free report full of ideas that could save me money in the long run if I put them into practice and get closer to that 10. This is a free program from TVA and local power companies. Here’s the link to see if your home address qualifies.

I registered online, got a reminder email and phone call, then another phone call from my specific Home Energy Advisor to confirm arrival at our specified time. The Advisor arrived in a clearly marked, energy efficient TVA vehicle, and was very professional, even down to wearing boot coverings inside.

The Advisor checked underneath the house, on the main floors and even in the attic. In less than 24 hours, I received a completed EnergyRight Efficiency Report with that 7 rating and photo-illustrated recommendations.

In summary, my house could become a 10, or at least a 9, if I worked on these:

  • Update insulation around the duct work system with mastic tape sealing for ducts and other sealant for small gaps around air returns.
  • Increase blown insulation in attic from 6-8 inches now up to 14-16 inches.
  • Reseal around electrical and plumbing penetrations in crawl space and attic.
  • Insulate hot water pipes and first 6 feet of cold water pipes at water heater in crawl space.
  • Add more generous weatherstripping around doors to better seal gaps.

The weatherstripping sounds like a potential DIY project to me, and so do some of the other items, depending on skill level and weekend time. If I enlist professional help, I could potentially earn rebate cash back from TVA EnergyRight when using a company listed on its website. Here is its list of approved contractors and rebates.

Want to start with your own DIY energy checkup? TVA has that online for you now.

Anne Brock is marketing coordinator for Solar Alliance, which encourages clients to evaluate current energy usage and reduce it when possible before adding renewable solar energy for long-term utility bill savings. She can be reached at 865-221-8349.


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