400,000 + Minnesota Homes Have Inadequate Insulation

New energy efficiency standards for existing homes are being set in Minnesota through a new program called Energy Fit Homes. The HERS energy score is commonly used in new construction, but is often impractical or impossible to apply and administer in older homes, which make up a large percentage of Minnesota homes.

Energy Fit Homes provides certification of energy efficiency, combustion safety and ventilation in existing homes. Delivered at a significantly lower cost than other sustainability certifications, it focuses on energy efficient upgrades that are cost-effective to the homeowner.

Energy fit - house1

Energy Fit Homes Certification can be a great tool when both buying and selling a home. Certification can give sellers an edge, and it can offer buyers assurance that the home is energy efficient so they can focus on other things.

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HOW IT WORKS

  • The Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC)/Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) will assess the home's energy efficiency and provide an Energy Score.
  • They give the homeowner a list of projects to help them increase their score.
  • They connect homeowners with qualified contractors to complete the recommended work.The NEC/CEE inspects the completed work and provides a new Energy Score along with the Energy Fit Homes certification.
  • Check out their website for more information – http://TheNEC.org/EnergyFit

Below are some of the standards being set to achieve a high enough score to qualify as an Energy Fit Home. Certification can be obtained through the Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) and their Home Energy Squad.

Making energy conservation easy

If you need CFL light bulbs, door weatherstripping, or a programmable thermostat, the Home Energy Squad is the place to start. The service will install a whole package of energy-efficient items in your home for a flat fee of just $70.

What are the benefits of an in-home audit?

An energy expert reviews your attic, insulation, doors, windows, furnace or boiler, and appliances and then identifies energy wasters, such as insufficient insulation or inefficient appliances. Your auditor will also diagnose health and safety issues, and will offer solutions for humidity and ventilation problems. Plus, you receive options for financing and rebates to help you make improvements.

How do I get started?

Xcel Energy gas and/or electric customers call the NEC at 651-328-6000. If you are a CenterPoint Energy gas customer, call CEE at 612-335-5874.

Summary of Certification Requirements

Category

Requirement

Attic insulation and

Attic insulation is R-49 when possible, given existing space restrictions

air sealing

Attic bypasses are sealed, as measured by visual inspection or blower door testing Some flexibility is allowed, as long as Home Energy Fitness score is greater than 95

 

 

Wall insulation

Walls are insulated to capacity (without expanding the wall cavity)

 

Some flexibility is allowed, as long as Home Energy Fitness score is greater than 95

Heating equipment

Furnace/boiler at least 90% efficiency and a programable thermostat is installed

 

 

Windows

Windows are single-pane windows plus storm, or better

Lighting

At least 50% of lighting in permanent fixtures is efficient (CFL or LEDs)

Ventilation

Home receives adequate fresh air, or has appropriate exhaust fan for added ventilation

 

 

Combustion safety

Furnace/boiler and hot water heater meet combustion safety requirements, or are closed combustion appliances

 

 

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results –green Realtor

The team at HomesMSP - SharleneJohnAngela

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About Sharlene Hensrud

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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