Energy Assessment

Climate change is affecting everyone in every part of the world. Although the problem is global, each of us as individuals can take steps to minimize our individual contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Assessing the amount of energy you use in your home is a great place to start.

The Johnson Clean Energy District (JCED) has developed an energy assessment program to help individuals evaluate home energy uses, where their home is inefficient, and which problems areas and fixes should be prioritized to save energy and improve comfort.

In late 2023, we are piloting a program to assist groups and individuals assess their homes, hoping to learn how to best support homeowners upgrade their homes. In this pilot project, we will test three options, with different levels of detail, for home assessments. If you are interested in this program or would like to try it yourself, click on the links below.

This quick checklist takes just a few minutes for you to complete.

To determine how energy efficient your home is or how you can make it more efficient, complete the table below, checking either Yes, No,  Uncertain or Doesn't Apply for each listed item.

HOME FEATURE ALREADY
PRESENT
NOT
PRESENT
UNCERTAIN DOESN'T APPLY
The attic has blown-in insulation
The walls are insulated
Basement walls are insulated
All windows are less than 20 years old
I have storm windows
The outside doors have weatherstripping
The house has storm doors over all outside entrances
The furnace is ENERGY STAR certified (check label)
The air conditioner is ENERGY STAR certified
The hot water heater is ENERGY STAR certified
All light fixtures have LED bulbs
SUMMARY OF RESPONSESALREADY
PRESENT
NOT
PRESENT
UNCERTAINDOESN'T APPLY
Count the number of checks you made in each column and write them in this row for each column.
The more checks you have in the ALREADY PRESENT column, the more energy efficient your home is likely to be.

This more detailed self-assessment will take an estimated 2 hours for you to complete.

This tool asks about 31 characteristics of an energy efficient home and asks whether each feature is present for your home. You can add up the number of features that your home has and compare it to the number it lacks to gain a better understanding of the degree of efficiency and specific factors you can change to improve its efficiency.

HOME FEATURE ALREADY
PRESENT
NOT
PRESENT
UNCERTAIN DOESN'T APPLY
ATTIC
My attic has at least 10 inches of insulation.
The access door to the attic has weatherstripping on the edges and is insulated on the attic side.
All holes in the attic floor for wires, pipes and ducts have been sealed with caulk or spray foam.
BASEMENT
There is caulk between the wall1 (sill plate) and the foundation wall
The band joist/rim joist area2 is filled with expandable foam, caulk, foam board insulation
All cracks and holes in the foundation are sealed on both the inside and the outside with caulk, foam, or other patching material, including holes where electrical, gas, water supply, telephone, and cable lines enter the house.
There is caulk or foam where metal ducts meet the ceiling, floor, or walls – in the basement.
All holes in the attic floor for wires, pipes and ducts have been sealed with caulk or spray foam.
All cracks around basement windows are filled with masonry caulk or spray foam
If my basement or basement garage is not heated, the ceiling is insulated
SIDEWALLS
There is wall insulation between the sidewall studs and/or foam sheets under the siding.
The sidewalls have an air sealing insulation wrap under the siding (e.g., Tyvek)
There is caulk around the edge of the outside trim of all windows and doors.
WINDOWS
All the house windows have double or triple paned glass
I have storm windows if my windows are single paned.
All seams between glass and frame parts have been caulked
DOORS
All exterior doors are insulated
All exterior doors have weatherstripping around the edges
Storm doors are installed over uninsulated exterior doors
All door thresholds are intact and do not leak air.
HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS
I have an ENERGY STAR Certified heating system that is less than 10 years old
My heating system has 95% or greater annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) – see the label
I have an electric furnace (not gas or oil)
My house has a heat pump4 (geothermal, ducted or mini-split) for heating & cooling
I have a smart thermostat that adjusts settings based on established patterns for leaving home and sleeping5
My house has photovoltaic solar panels to make electricity
I have an ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner that is less than 10 years old
I have an ENERGY STAR certified water heater that is less than 10 years old
Healing and cooling ducts are taped at all the seams/joints
LIGHTING
All interior and exterior light fixtures have LED bulbs
Lights in unused rooms are routinely turned off
SUMMARY OF RESPONSESALREADY
PRESENT
NOT
PRESENT
UNCERTAINDOESN'T APPLY
Count the number of checks you made in each column and write them in this row for each column.
The more checks you have in the ALREADY PRESENT column, the more energy efficient your home is likely to be.

FOOTNOTES

  1. The band/rim joist is where the wall of the house sits on the concrete or stone foundation.
  2. The band/rim joist area is in the basement, along the outside wall, between the ends of the floor joists (“beams”) that support the floor. Heat escapes out through the outside wall here so these spaces need to be insulated.
  3. Door thresholds are the piece attached to the floor, just under the door, and may have weatherstripping to block drafts from blowing under the door.
  4. Heat pumps do 2 things: a) heating the house by moving heat into the house (even when it’s cold outside), and b) cooling the house by moving unwanted summer heat out of the house (which is what a conventional “air conditioner” does). They are very efficient and can replace gas furnaces.
  5. A “programmable” thermostat does not meet this item. Smart thermostats are more efficient and easier to use.

Having a professional home energy audit is the most comprehensive way to evaluate energy efficiency. A trained auditor will come to your home and collect detailed data about your home’s size, window area, amount of insulation, heating and air conditioning systems, and kitchen and laundry appliances. The auditor will also perform a calibrated blower door test to determine how much air is entering or escaping from your home plus infrared thermography to show surface heat variations. All collected data will be entered into a computerized software program.

Within 2 weeks, the auditor will send you a written report including detailed data findings, recommendations for improving energy efficiency, and the degree to which each recommendation would impact your energy usage.

To be connected with a certified energy auditor for a comprehensive assessment of your home, contact Johnson Clean Energy District at info@johnsoncleanenergydistrict.org

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