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Local Government Commission

Currents


Summer 2012

 

SDG&E Releases New Integrated Energy Audit

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently rolled out a new integrated energy efficiency audit (http://sdge.com/save-money/solutions-your-home/your-home-can-save-you-money) that replaces the one currently used by many applicants and homeowners to meet the CSI program requirement in the SDG&E territory. The new audit pulls electricity usage for each homeowner directly from the SDG&E database, eliminating the need for examining past energy bills or accessing the data on a separate website.

The process requires the homeowner to log in on SDG&E's website. After answering a number of questions regarding the appliances and energy use in the home and setting energy goals, a two-page energy efficiency report is generated. While this new approach offers opportunities in terms of the customization and usability of the audits for the homeowner, there is an interim period of adjusting to the new energy audit and incorporating it into established processes.

It is recommended that the energy audit be completed by the homeowner, as they are the most familiar with the specifics of their home and the way they use energy, however, in many cases the CSI applicant or installer assists the homeowner with the process. The new SDG&E energy efficiency audit makes it slightly more difficult for an outside party to assist with the process since it requires the homeowner to log on to their account, but it may still be helpful for the applicant or installer to complete the audit with the homeowner and to give their input on the value of energy efficiency measures.

There are also other free online energy audits available, as well as more intensive energy audits performed by a professional, that focus on whole home performance for homeowners who want to reduce their energy as much as possible before going solar.

The energy efficiency audit can serve as an integral part of reducing the size, and therefore the cost, of a solar system, making solar more affordable for the average homeowner.