CEO People Helping People

Advanced energy audits

The first step in whole-house weatherization, and perhaps most important one, is to assess the house. In years past, this was done using a rule-of-thumb process. Today, trained technicians use advanced computer software and diagnostic equipment to identify the most cost-effective energy-saving measures for a particular home in an energy audit. An easy-to-use but advanced computer audit software, the National Energy Audit Tool (NEAT), was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Weatherization Assistance Program. This computer program is designed to determine the most cost-effective retrofit measures for single-family homes to increase the comfort of occupants and reduce monthly energy costs.

After the user inputs data on building characteristics, including the types of heating and cooling systems, the audit produces a prioritized list of cost-effective measures customized for each dwelling. The output also includes an estimated dollar value for the projected energy savings, savings-to-investment ratios, and a list of the quantities of materials necessary to perform the recommended retrofit.

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Commission on Economic Opportunity Weatherization