Columbia Gas program saves household $300 in 10 monthsWritten by Zach Davis | | email@example.com
With the cold of winter quickly approaching, Columbia Gas of Ohio’s Home Performance Solutions program is looking to help prevent Toledoans from wasting energy.
One year ago, Toledo Free Press profiled Tim Yenrick, the executive director of the American Red Cross Greater Toledo Chapter, as he invited Columbia Gas into his home to perform the program’s energy audit. After making all of the recommended changes, Yenrick said he has saved $296.02 during the first 10 months of this year compared to last year.
“I have an older house with some drafty areas,” Yenrick said. “I found out I had more drafty areas than I thought I had. I’m glad we did it. They come in and they thoroughly test the house. After I had all the stuff done, they came back and retested it to see if it actually made a difference and it did quite a bit.”
During the first 10 months of 2010, Yenrick’s household consumed 1,042 Ccf (hundred cubic feet) of natural gas, totaling $1,224.34. In the first 10 months of 2011 with the changes made, Yenrick’s home has used 731 Ccf, equating to a bill of $928.32.
“The Home Performance Solutions program is designed to help people where they are losing energy in their home,” Columbia Gas of Ohio Communications and Community Relations Manager Chris Kozak said. “The first step to lowering someone’s bill is finding out where they are losing that energy. It is a basement-to-ceiling inspection. They take that information and present the customer with the idea of what needs to be done, the approximate cost and the approximate savings.”
The $50 energy audit determined that Yenrick needed insulation in four areas of the attic, one exterior wall and one minimal pipe insulation job in the basement. It also determined that his gas furnace was efficient and did not need to be replaced.
Yenrick said he made every recommended change, which was estimated at $2,786.73. Columbia Gas, however, also provides rebates of up to 70 percent if its customers make more than one of the improvements. In some areas, rebates are as high as 90 percent.
“It’s always nice in this day and age with the economy for a nonprofit director to [save money],” Yenrick said.
Yenrick also discovered an unexpected bonus to the inspection when the workers found a leak on a gas pipe entering his basement. His gas was turned off and workers were brought out to fix it.
“This is not only an efficiency inspection but a safety inspection as well,” Kozak said. “It was good we caught it when we did. At the end of the day, his house was safer as well as more energy efficient.”
The energy audit process takes between three and four hours. For more information on the Home Performance Solutions program, visit www.ColumbiaGasOfOhio.com/HPS.