Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Your Smart Energy Questions

Review these frequently asked questions or submit a question of your own to learn more about how smart energy choices can pay off for you, your community and all of us in Connecticut.

Q: What happens during an Home Energy Solutions (HES) visit?

A: During an Home Energy Solutions (HES) visit, a utility-certified technician will evaluate your home’s energy performance and install energy-saving measures such as sealing air leaks and installing energy-efficient lighting, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. The technicians will also provide written recommendations for deeper energy-saving measures such as insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling, water heating, windows and appliances. To help you in making smart energy choices, your recommendations will include information on rebates and financing along with payback and investment information specific to your home. For more information, please visit the Home Energy Solutions - Core Services program page. You may also be interested in two similar programs we offer: the Home Energy Solutions - Income-Eligible (HES-IE) program and the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

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Q: What recommendations are common during a home energy assessment (audit)?

A: During a home energy assessment, sometimes called an "audit" or "checkup", the following recommendations are common:

  • Adding Insulation - Many older homes are poorly insulated, and some have no insulation at all. Properly installed insulation in attics and walls provides for more even temperatures throughout the house and results in a quieter, more comfortable living environment that is less costly to heat and cool.
     
  • Sealing and Insulating Ductwork - Many homes have leaky ductwork and poor air flow, resulting in uncomfortable rooms. Your contractor may recommend sealing your home’s ducts and balancing the duct system to enhance air flow to all rooms. Insulating ductwork in attics and crawl spaces also can save energy and increase your home’s overall comfort.
     
  • Improving Heating and Cooling Systems - If your boiler, furnace, or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your contractor may recommend replacing it with a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR certified unit. Installed correctly, high-efficiency units can help you save on heating and cooling costs.
     
  • Upgrading Lighting and Appliances - Energy used for lighting and appliances can account for a great deal of your home’s energy use. As a result, your contractor may recommend ENERGY STAR qualified products, such as refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, room air conditioners, and energy-efficient light bulbs. An energy efficient hot water heating system may also be recommended.

    Once you’ve taken steps to increase your home's efficiency, you may also want to consider adding renewable energy systems, such as solar electric (photovoltaics) or solar hot water, to further reduce your utility bills.

    Getting started is easy, just visit our Home Energy Assessment page to find out which program is right for you.

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Q: What options are available for income eligible residents?

A: As an income-eligible Connecticut resident, you can take advantage of several smart energy options. For example the Home Energy Solutions - Income Eligible program is a free service  available for income-eligible renters and homeowners who want to save money by reducing their energy consumption. Through this program, valuable weatherization measures, such as caulking drafts, cracks and leaks in your windows and doors, are offered. These measures can reduce monthly energy costs by making homes more energy efficient. In addition to no-cost weatherization measures, some households may qualify for insulation and energy-efficient appliances, including ENERGY STAR refrigerators. For more information, please visit the Home Energy Solutions - Income Eligible page. Also visit our Income Eligible page for more information on available smart energy tips and options.

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Q: I'm thinking of renovating my home. How can you help?

A: There is no better time to think of energy efficiency and renewable energy than when you are building a new house or making major renovations. Exciting advancements in technology and building techniques can make your home more efficient and comfortable. For example, investments you make in energy-efficient insulation, heating and air conditioning, water heating, lighting and appliances and renewable energy systems can pay off through lower energy costs. Energize Connecticut offers several solutions to help you. For example, through our Residential New Construction program, we offer expert guidance from energy specialists who can inform you about the range of equipment and material options available and rebates on energy-efficient measures including, ENERGY STAR for Homes Certification, insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, geothermal systems and hot water heaters. For more information on smart energy options, please visit our Building, Renovating or Buying a New Home page.

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Q: What options are available for my heating and cooling system?

A: More than half of the energy used in your home goes to heating, cooling and hot water. So making smart decisions about these systems in your home can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort. Energize Connecticut offers several solutions to help you find the high-efficiency or renewable energy equipment that is right for you. For example, we offer rebates for high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment and rebates for ENERGY STAR ductless split heat pumps. For more information on smart energy options for heating and cooling, please visit our Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water page.

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Q: What can renters do?

A: You don’t have to own your home or condo to benefit from smart energy. Whether you pay utility costs yourself or as part of your rent, you can make a difference by saving energy or supporting renewable energy. As a Connecticut renter, there are a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs available. For example, you can benefit from technical advice and rebates through the Home Energy Solutions program or you can support renewable energy through your electric bill through the CT Clean Energy Options program. For more information on smart energy options available to you, please visit our Renters page.

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Q: Do you have any tips for me on saving energy?

A: It’s easy to reduce your energy use and save money by starting with no-cost and low-cost changes. Getting started is as simple as adopting a few new habits and making time for quick and easy projects around the house. Visit our residential energy tips page to find ideas that might work for you.

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