The Home Energy Advice Team will, for $30, visit your home (pre-2006 construction, detached or semi-detached), have a look around, and provide advice on the best steps you can take to reduce the amount of energy you use.
I have no association with this program, aside from having used this service today, but thought someone could find this information useful.
If you spend $2,000 on the priority improvements suggested in the report, the ACT Government will give you a $500 rebate – plus you get the $30 you spent getting the assessment back. That can include ceiling / wall insulation, internal and external window coverings, and more.
I’ll be up front and say that the main reason I got the assessment done, was because I knew our ceiling insulation was bad (low R rating, badly laid – R2.5 in the ceiling, batts laying across ceiling batons, made even worse when ducts were installed for ducted gas heating) and needed replacing. It was a no brainer to take a couple of hours for the assessment, to save $500 for work we knew we had to do.
The actual assessment was fantastic. The guy who came to do it had a Masters degree in sustainability (from memory – that may not be right, but it was in that type of field) and certainly knew what he was talking about. I was expecting someone to head in and basically be working from a check list – ‘this change will have this effect because that’s what’s on my list’ type of stuff. What we got though, was ‘what you currently have isn’t effective, because what you currently have doesn’t match what science tells us is effective – here’s how the science works, and here’s what you can do instead’.
Don’t take that to mean that the assessment was a lecture in climate change or anything like that though. Yes, there was mention of climate change and other environmental issues, but I think that was mainly because we were willing to talk about that stuff. It wasn’t the purpose of the assessment.
All in all, it’s a service I’d thoroughly recommend – especially if you’re thinking of making improvements to reduce your energy bills. Even without that though, I learnt a lot about how our home – a 40 year old place built in an era when energy was cheap, and if you needed to run the heater all winter long that wasn’t a big deal – loses and gains heat. The information was practical, at the end of it all we’ve got a clear list of priorities, and some of the suggestions were very cheap to implement (eg, under $10 to draft seal our front door).
I reckon this is the way rebates should be done, and I hope this scheme can continue.