Okay, so they don’t come to your door with green plaid Sherlock Holmes hats and magnifying glasses, but they are armed with gizmos, equipment, calculators and clipboards. Afshin and Meenal are once again ahead of the curve. This dynamic
Most every house has energy-guzzling appliances, leaky windows, mysterious sources of drafts, and ever escalating bills. You can turn down your thermostat and turn off your unused lights, but unless you’re making improvements to your home’s infrastructure and investing in appropriate appliance and equipment upgrades, you will be both uncomfortable and paying ever larger bills. Their service, an energy consultation, will provide you with concrete analysis and recommendations based on their research and experience. A trial run at my house, in which we have completed many new upgrades, was very illuminating. Afshin and Meenal ran the numbers and determined that our gas usage is 40% lower as a result of all our energy efficiency and energy conservation efforts. This was reassuring, since I had just received a $665 monthly heating bill. Afshin did some quick figuring and pointed out that had we not lowered our usage, but used the same amount as 6 years ago when we started upgrading, that bill would now be running us $2250! Our electricity usage is down 10%, despite adding many more appliances and running room heaters all winter to counteract our thermostat being set at 62. It was great to document our success, but they didn’t stop there. We now have a punch list of another dozen or so leak-sealing sites. They will be able to provide the labor for these jobs. One of the previous frustrations was finding folks to actually execute the work. They will do the analysis and you can do the work yourself, or you can hire them to do it.
While I had always thought our water service charges were huge (over $150 a month), I had never seen any other household’s bill, so I had nothing with which to compare it. ("By the way, what's your monthly water bill?" just isn't a normal conversation starter). Enter the Green House Detectives. They quickly determined our water usage is low but our service charge is five times the norm. Armed with that information I called the Water Department and learned this is because we have a 1” meter rather than a normal 5/8” meter. For $450 a plumber will replace our meter and our service charge will drop by 85%, paying for the plumbing costs in just 4 months, without any negative consequences. In other words, we are unlikely to notice the difference when we turn on the tap. (Don’t worry, we’ll also try to recoup some of the 21 years’ charges for service for which we got no value.) You can see why it’s helpful to bring in the detectives! In all likelihood the cost will quickly be offset by savings. And with electricity being deregulated in Pennsylvania in the near future, any savings now will be multiplied in years to come.
Afshin and Meenal can be reached at The Green House Detectives.