Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DOE Would Like to Grade Your Energy Efficiency!

Coming to a neighborhood near you...a smiling assessor, working with the Department of Energy (DOE) or affiliate (read, electric company), who would like come into your house and give you an “energy score” and tips on making your house more efficient! Are you biting? I didn't think so! ;-)

The DOE has come out with a delightful software called the Home Energy Scoring Tool. According to their press release, “The Home Energy Score allows home buyers to compare homes on an ‘apples to apples’ basis and provides recommendations for energy efficiency improvements. In addition, homeowners and home buyers receive a cost-saving estimate of how these improvements could reduce utility bills and improve a home's score.”

As CNSNews so chillingly and correctly points out, “Right now, getting your home scored is voluntary.”

The DOE thinks they can get you to both let them document your energy usage conditions and to purchase (possibly costly) upgrades that will increase energy efficiency. How low will it take for your to recoup your costs? The FAQ section tells prospective assessors, “The total savings estimate shown with the home's Score reflects the gross energy cost savings that would result over 10 years from completing all the recommended improvements.”

Ten years is longer than most people stay in their homes. The average has been 5-7 years. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) now says the number is closer to 13 years. However, the poor home sales of the last decade and withering economy may have produced homeowners who were unable to move, even if they wanted to.

Do they think after the public, having been subjected to health insurance costs rising 2-300%, has the stomach to run out and buy some energy efficient windows or new appliances?

Are they hanging with Toronto’s mayor?

I've seen this coming since they started installing “smart meters.” Next they try to get you to buy a “smart” thermostat that you can adjust online. But if you can adjust your temperature over the internet...what’s to stop your energy company from making their own adjustments? What happens when the energy grid is strained...or perhaps they just think you're cooling your house a tad too much for their liking, even  though you're paying your huge electric bill every month and it’s 99F in the shade? After all, we have a planet to save folks!

You’ve allowed the government into your private medical files. What will stop Big Brother from demanding you to get your home “scored” at some point? They are involved in residential code development. Seeing where the current administration is heading, it's highly likely they will want to add new building codes and regulations to force you to bring your home up to some set of standard scores for energy efficiency the next time you remodel or sell your home.