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Farmington Hills

November 8, 2012

Seminar to discuss benefits of home energy audits

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON HILLS — As the winter winds begin to blow into town, the Farmington Hills Commission for Energy and Environmental Sustainability is doing its part to help residents stay warm this season without breaking the bank.

The commission, in partnership with Ecotelligent Homes, DTE Energy and the city of Farmington Hills, will host a free home energy audit seminar Nov. 28 at the historic Longacre House. 

According to Nate Geinzer, assistant to the city manager, those who attend the seminar will get a firsthand look at how an energy audit can reveal spots in a home or building where heat could be escaping, causing utility bills to skyrocket.

“They’ll have an opportunity to hear from a contractor that does energy audits — what they are, the benefits and how they can pay for themselves,” said Geinzer. “It’s meant to educate our residents and business owners on ways they can be more efficient with their energy use and save money.”

During the seminar, guests will enjoy light refreshments while they learn how energy audits can pinpoint spots in a home where energy is lost needlessly through drafts, leaks or insufficient insulation. The audits can also determine the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, demonstrate ways a homeowner can use less energy, and identify improvements that can be made to save money on utility bills. The tests involved in an audit can also ensure good indoor air-quality levels.

Amanda Godward, owner of Ecotelligent Homes, will be speaking at the seminar as a contractor who specializes in home energy audits. Her Farmington Hills-based company was founded in 2009 with the mission of helping residents and business owners use energy in a more efficient, environmentally sound way.

“We’ll be giving general information about what a home energy audit is and all the rebates available,” said Godward. “Whoever attends will be broken up into smaller groups, and they’ll be able to use our assessment equipment hands-on — the blower door, thermal infrared cameras — to see how accurate they are and see the little things they pick up.”

Godward said that guests will also be able to learn about rebates from Consumers Energy and DTE Energy that are made available to customers who have a home energy audit performed on their house and make even small improvements to their spaces to make their homes more energy-efficient.

To add a bit of a twist to the educational event, Godward performed a full home energy audit on the Longacre House itself, which was built in 1869. The six-room Victorian-style home is now used as a venue to host special events and community gatherings.

Godward said she wouldn’t reveal the results of the audit until the seminar, except to say that the home will serve as a great example for her presentation.

“It was built in the 1800s, so I guess I’ll just leave it at that,” she said with a laugh. “They’re trying to not only keep up the appearance of it but improve the efficiency and keep the comfort of the guests that use that space.”

The seminar will be held 7-8:30 p.m. To register for the free home energy audit seminar or for more tips on how to create a “green” home, visit www.SustainableFH.com.

The Longacre House is located at 24705 Farmington Road in Farmington Hills.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.