“Energizing Indiana” Free home energy audit

Everyone wants to save money, especially during the summer months when costs, like air conditioning only make your energy bill go up.

So if you're like most of us and looking for a way to save this summer, you may look to an unlikely source, your energy company.

Major utilities across the Hoosier state have partnered with state government to make your energy bills go down, and your extra cash flow stay up. It's called Energizing Indiana.

"For every kilowatt hour that we save in a home energy assessment, that's one kilowatt hour that doesn't have to be generated in a power plant," says Bob Nuss the managing director of Energizing Indiana.

It's a statewide program, saving energy, and dollars off of your electric bill.

"This is a great way to help people save money, and to reduce the amount of energy they're using,” says Nuss.

All, through a free, home audit, that puts you on a path to save money.

"Once you sign up, then we'll send an assessor out to walk through your home with you,” explains Nuss. “They will take a look at the billing envelope, they'll look at how you're using energy, how you're heating and cooling, how you're lighting your home, your appliances. They'll even ask questions like, how often is your TV on every day."

A recent move was Mary Knutz reason for an energy assessment in her home.

"I recently moved into this house and this will be my first summer,” says homeowner Mary Knutz. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a chance to try and cut back on some of my energy usage."

Another reason, it's completely free.

"I'm anticipating I will save 10 percent on my electric bill a month," says Mary.

It's all part of a state-wide initiative to reduce energy usage. Six major utility companies are participating, that means 80 percent of people in the Hoosier state are eligible for the program.

"It doesn't matter if you're in south bend or in Evansville, you get the same program," says Nuss.

An advisor looks for the flaws, often finding hidden energy suckers like cell phone chargers and light bulbs.

"I never anticipated that the switch to CFL's would save me that much in energy savings a month,” says Mary.

"A lot of people have some older refrigerators and freezers, using a lot more money than what they really think, especially if they're not using it that much," says Travis Marker an energy advisor for Energizing Indiana.

After about an hour and a half, depending on the size of the home, you're provided with a 13 page energy report full of recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of your home.

"Some of the simple things we generally see, one is going to be the lighting,” explains Marker. “A lot of people generally don't realize how many lights they have in their house. So with this one, the homeowner had guessed about 70, they actually had 118 light bulbs."

You're also provided with a free "energy kit" including 9 compact-florescent light bulbs, a safe power strip, 3 low-flow aerators for faucets, and 2 energy-efficient shower heads.

In Mary's case, she found her home was already pretty efficient.

"Even with a newer house and being energy efficient, there's always room for improvement,” says Marker. “With the lighting alone, if she takes the proper recommendations, switches more of the incandescent out with the compact fluorescents she can probably see a 10 percent savings on her electric bill."

So why should you care, because your dollars are already going to the program, just by paying your utility bill.

"You should take advantage of it because you've paid into it, you've supported it, so if you don't your neighbors are going to," says Nuss. "It's cheaper to save than it is to create. From the measures that we install while we're doing the assessment, you're probably going to save somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. If you follow up on the recommendations we make, you can save even more."

"I think that really shows a commitment to our state that they're trying to make us more energy conscious and hopefully a leader in the United States in energy conservation," says Mary. "I will definitely recommend this to my friends, families and neighbors."

Remember Energizing Indiana is a free program available to most utility customers in the state. There are no hidden fees or pressure to purchase anything. Whether or not you want to implement the recommended changes is up to you.

If you're interested in the program, all you have to do is schedule an appointment online.

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