Local homeowners getting ready to cut down on summer energy usage thanks to Home Energy Assessments

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Posted at 4:34 AM, May 06, 2021

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Robert Hammond was checking the pipes at the home of Brian Davenport, just one of several inspections he was performing, when he noticed one of Davenport’s water-heating pipes did not have insulation.

He grabbed some insulation tubes from his van, cut them into three separate pieces and placed them on the pipe. Hammond said un-insulated pipes could cause more energy to go to waste, which also means higher utility bills.

"We’re up against it with our power grid,” Hammond said. “Anything we can do to help cool kilowatt usage off the grid is benefiting everybody."

Hammond is the owner of Puffin Mechanical, an approved contracting company that performs the Home Energy Assessment from Dominion Energy. Puffin Mechanical is one of several companies approved by Dominion Energy to perform the assessment.

The assessment, done by an approved contractor, shows homeowners where energy is being consumed, what can be done to mitigate consumption and tips for further energy savings.

Hammond said the assessment can be done anytime, but now is ideal as the summer approaches and days get hotter. That will mean more people will be using air conditioning units to stay cool, which can consume a lot of energy.

"It’s starting to get hot out there, and a lot of people don’t know that almost half of the energy usage in your home goes towards the heat and cooling bill," Hammond said.

Hammond assessed Davenport’s home nine months ago.

"I definitely saw a drop in my electric bill from him since he came in and did the energy assessment,” Davenport told News 3. “I have light bulbs changed out; he went underneath the house and put some insulation around water piping."

Davenport said he was unsure about the assessment at first. It is a feeling Hammond said homeowners get when faced with the chance of getting the Home Energy Assessment.

“Any time that someone is offering that assistance,” Hammond explained, “you’re going to ask questions and be curious, especially when you’re letting people into your home.”

The contractor will go through your home and check out your lighting, heating and cooling systems. They will then provide you a report and make any needed adjustments.

The assessment takes between 30 to 60 minutes. Recommended adjustments can be made that day or scheduled for another time.

You may be charged for the assessment and any fixes made, depending on the contractor. Davenport said he was not charged anything for the assessment or adjustments.

Related: Turning on the AC to beat the heat? Dominion Energy has suggestions to help keep your bill down

“The information that we gather, Dominion generates a personalized report,” Hammond said. “Basically giving them an explanation of what they can expect to save annually in kilowatt usage."

Something as simple as replacing your light bulbs or insulating pipes can mean big savings on your utility bills. You may also qualify for rebates.

“Not only does it help the customer but it helps the grid, it helps the area,” Hammond said.

Homeowners in Virginia interested in more information on Dominion Energy's Home Energy Assessment and to search for an approved contractor, click here. For North Carolina homeowners, click here.