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Q: Dear Wiz:

I have been reading an article titled, “Measure your energy costs and add up the savings” found in Mother Earth News.  They recommend energy audit tests.  I am wondering if Nebraska has energy auditors and if the state has a program that provides for such audits.


A: Dear Reader:

The Energy Office maintains a list of Home Energy Raters on our website.   The Energy Office also has reduced interest loans available for these audits.  You may apply for an energy audit loan at any local participating Nebraska lender.  Local Nebraska lenders can be found on the Energy Office web site.   The application forms for the loans are also on the Energy Office website: Form 30, Technical Analysis Loan Application and Form 31, Technical Analysis Cost Estimate.

Remember:  The person doing the audit must be either a Licensed Engineer or Architect, Certified Energy Manager, Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional, or a Certified Home Energy Rater.

Sincerely,
The Energy Wiz

Q: Dear Wiz:

I've insulated our home's garage, empty crawl spaces and attic, installed a new energy efficient heating and cooling system in my home with a heat pump replacing my 20 year old system and had all my windows replaced with high efficiency models.  My 3,500 square foot house is going to be re-sided with “cement-fiber” this spring at a cost of about $20,000.  Will this kind of siding reduce my energy costs?  Does siding qualify for a low interest loan through the Nebraska Energy Office?


A: Dear Reader:

Siding by itself will not help you to save energy.  However, if you add insulation board to your home’s exterior, this will add to the R-value of your walls, and that will help you to save energy.  If you add a minimum R-10 of insulation board to the exterior of the home, the siding project could qualify for a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan.  The siding application forms are available on our web site.  You will need to complete Form 2, Door Window Wall and Ceiling Projects Application and Form 2 Siding, Certification of Added Wall Insulation, You will submit this application to your local participating Nebraska lender which can be found on the website.

Consumers should be wary of sales associates claiming energy savings without adding insulation.  Some sales associates will claim energy savings from their products due to air sealing.  While sealing leaks is a viable means of saving energy, as much energy can be saved with a tube of caulking and caulking gun.  Cement fiber siding does not have an “equivalent” R-value, and any claims of such would be false.

Sincerely,
The Energy Wiz
Editor's Note:
The staff at the Energy Office respond to many inquiries on a variety of topics from Nebraskans. From time to time, the Quarterly will share some questions — and the answers — with readers.
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