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Tuesday,  April 16 , 2024

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Energy Adviser: Help at hand to assess to-do list

By Clark Public Utilities
Published: March 2, 2024, 6:03am

Winter can be tough on homes. The constant drizzle, numerous rounds of freeze-thaw cycles and the occasional heavy debris brought down by powerful winds all can chip away on the external envelope of the structure and put extra stress on the heating and cooling systems the people inside depend on.

Over time, exposure to the elements can make a property less and less robust against the seasonal extremes that visit Southwest Washington. That makes the home leakier, which leads to increased energy waste and a climate control system that has to work harder to maintain a selected temperature.

If you haven’t yet, now’s a good time to start planning for a review of your home’s weatherization, climate control system and other important features. Spring is the ideal season to inspect your property and get it ready for high summer temperatures that are soon to come. Not only is the weather more pleasant to work in for you or the contractor you hire, but it’ll be more comfortable indoors if a major repair or replacement is necessary.

Homes need regular maintenance, but they don’t come with a service manual. It can be hard for the average person to know how or where to get started. Even the most well educated homeowner can struggle to identify a home’s needs or how to prioritize projects.

Hiring an HVAC contractor to occasionally inspect your heating and cooling system can provide a good a timeline of future maintenance or suggestions for energy efficiency upgrades that could reduce energy waste and lower utility expenses. A weatherization contractor can examine the home envelope and insulation to make repairs and suggest improvements as needed.

Clark Public Utilities keeps a list of local contractors that can help homeowners with all of that and identify which of the utility’s energy efficiency rebates the home may qualify for.

The Contractor Network is a list of contractors that specialize in several energy efficiency related fields. To be eligible for the network, contractors must meet the utility’s high standard of customer service, stay up-to-date on the utility’s current incentives and rebates, while also maintaining all essential bonds, licenses, insurance and professional credentials their fields require. View the contractor network list at www.clarkpublicutilities.com/services/weatherization.

The Contractor Network isn’t an endorsement, recommendation or warranty. Customers should always solicit more than one bid, ideally three, and do their own research into a contractor’s background before hiring one.

Clark Public Utilities customers can also get personalized energy efficiency advice by speaking to an Energy Counselor of Day. One call is often all it takes to give a person the guidance they need to understand how to reduce energy waste and lower energy expenses.

They can review a home’s utility account to offer personalized advice about energy efficiency upgrades that’ll likely add the most benefit for the buck. Call them Monday through Friday during business hours at 360-992-3355.

If a phone call isn’t enough, Clark Public Utilities Energy Counselors can come to your home for an in-person home energy review. When you call, ask for the review and schedule yours.

The utility offers financial incentives for electrically heated homes that can make home heating, weatherization and insulation projects more affordable. Certain conditions apply. Learn more at www.clarkpublicutilities.com/reducewaste.

Energy Adviser is produced by Clark Public Utilities and relies on the expertise of utility energy counselors and staff, who provide conservation and energy use information. To contact us call 360-992-3355, email ecod@clarkpud.com or visit www.clarkpublicutilities.com.