Home energy costs are climbing, and some energy-related home improvements are a one-time cost that can save you money every month for as long as you own your home. The Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles Home Energy Makeover Contest is designed to showcase the positive cash flow nature of home energy upgrades. So what exactly is a home energy makeover? It’s a comprehensive, “whole house” solution for making your home greener and more energy efficient, resulting in a GreenPoint rated certification for your house.
For example, many homes leak hot air in the winter and trap heat in the summer, making us crank up the
heat or air conditioning. That’s like watching hard-earned cash fly out the leaky doors, windows and ceilings
of inefficient houses. Some rooms just never get warm or cooled. You might even think you need a new air
conditioner or furnace. But if you seal and insulate your house first to keep the heat in during winter and the heat out in summer, you’ll save on heating and cooling—and you might not need a new unit. Or, your new unit could be smaller than your old one. A truly upgraded house can lead to many benefits, such as reduced utility bills, improved comfort and indoor air quality, and possibly higher resale value.
The home improvements made on the winning homes will be based on what demonstrates the best examples of energy-efficiency for those houses and could include some or all of the following:
• Sealing air leaks and ductwork
• Adding new insulation in attics, walls and floors
• Insulating water pipes
• New heating and cooling systems
• High efficiency storage gas or tankless water heaters
• Ventilation fans
• Energy-efficient hardwired interior and exterior lighting fixtures
• Water-conserving improvements
• Other energy-efficient improvements that are permanent or “fixed” to the house.
The prizes include:
1. $50,000: One Grand Prize Winning Home-A “Toward Zero Energy” winning home will receive energy and water efficiency improvements estimated at $50,000, including solar and certification as a green home
2. $10,000: Five Winning Homes-Five homes receive energy and water efficiency improvements estimated at $10,000 and certification as a green home
3. 20 Semi-Finalist Homes-Twenty semi-finalist homes receive state-of the-art home energy assessments estimated at $500 each
Contest registration ends on March 31, 2011. For more information and to enter the contest, go to: energyupgradeca.org/county/los_angeles/makeover_contest.