Art Oglesby of Saint Paul has hit the jackpot of energy savings. Oglesby first heard about the NEC thanks to his Como neighborhood’s district council environmental committee. He attended the home energy workshop put on by the NEC and the Clean Energy Resource Team, where he qualified for a reduced-price NEC Home Energy Squad visit.
The Home Energy Squad visit set into motion a chain of energy-conserving events. According to Oglesby, “The Home Energy Squad came to my house and installed a setback thermostat, a water heater blanket, and more than a dozen compact fluorescent light bulbs. The setback thermostat essentially turns off my heat at night but warms the house back up an hour before we get out of bed. They also explained to me that by adding insulation to my walls and attic and by sealing up air leaks in my attic, I could save thousands of dollars off my heating bills.”
Oglesby heeded the advice of his Home Energy Squad crew and scheduled an Xcel Energy Standard Home Energy Audit. His auditor used a blower door to lower the air pressure in his house, and then identified where cold air was getting in from outdoors. Oglesby reports that he was, “shocked to learn that my 1923 Dutch Colonial leaked air as if a window was left open all winter. I am a Geo Metro kind of guy but my house was like a Hummer! The auditor did some calculations and assured me that investing $4,000 would reduce my heating bills by (at least) $12,000 over 30 years.”
After he decided to make the improvements, Oglesby worked with the NEC to identify a suite of rebate and incentive programs to lessen his final bill. He took part in Saint Paul’s Energy Smart Homes program to finance insulation, air sealing, and other work in his home. Energy Smart Homes loans require no payments and add no interest. They assure quality work by requiring post-installation inspections, and are only repaid when borrowers’ homes are sold. Oglesby also qualified for the Xcel Energy Home Performance Rebate and received $780 cash back. He was rewarded with an additional $400 from the Center for Energy and Environment for insulating. His improvements also qualified for a federal energy tax credit.
Oglesby is a true advocate for energy efficiency and conservation. He used his cash windfall to take an energy auditing training course at Dunwoody College of Technology, in order to help others save energy. “I really believe that improving the energy efficiency of homes like mine is a great investment. You save money. You leave the heating fuel in the ground for future generations. You reduce the carbon dioxide emissions into our environment. You create jobs in the energy reduction industries. You will also be much more comfortable when your house is tight and toasty.”