Special Offer for Free Home Energy Audits

Tiburon Energy is offering a special incentive for homeowners to get a home energy audit. The first five (5) eligible homeowners who contact Tiburon Energy will receive a free home energy audit (normally a $400 value). Visit the Tiburon Energy contact page to submit a request.

water heater inspection
A Tiburon Energy auditor inspects a water heater, which is one part of a home energy audit

What you will receive:
– A complete home energy audit
– A detailed report on the findings and recommendations of the audit
– Eligibility to receive special financial and rebate offers on improvements based on the audit

To be eligible, you must:

– Reside in Hamilton County, Ohio
– Own and live in the house to be audited
– The house must be: built after 1942, less than 3000 square feet, and free of asbestos and mold
– No previous home energy audit has been conducted within the last 5 years
– Provide your home address and primary telephone number
– No telephone solicitations for this offer will be accepted

A Tiburon Energy representative will contact you to verify eligibility and set a date for the audit. Tiburon Energy also asks recipients to consider providing feedback on your experiences for marketing purposes.

Find out what hidden savings a home energy audit might reveal for you.

First Net-Zero Energy House on the Market

A net-zero energy house, by Meritage Homes

A homebuilder in the Phoenix area recently hosted a block party to showcase its net-zero energy house, where the amount of energy produced equals the amount of energy used. This house is the first net-zero production home in the United States.

Learn more about the details of the net-zero houses, including the extreme energy-efficient features they offer.

See Energy-Efficient Homes at Greenarama

As the desire for energy-efficient housing grows, some of Cincinnati’s home builders are showcasing the latest in energy-efficiency at the city’s newest house event. Greenarama, presented by the city of Cincinnati, will feature custom Townhouse Style Green homes built by five of the area’s finest home builders.

Find out for yourself how inviting an energy-efficient house can be.

When: June 17-19 and 24-26, 2011

Where: Strafer Street in the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood of Cincinnati

Springtime Energy Saving Tips

Air conditioner tune-up service
Save energy by inspecting your air conditioner annually

The good news is that spring is finally here. Although the weather seems to change dramatically on a daily basis, rest assured that
warmer weather is on the way.

So what can you do to prepare your home for the hot summer months to come? Here are some tips to help get you started.

1) Schedule an air conditioner tune-up

Getting your air conditioning unit checked early in the spring can help you save money on electricity costs by making sure the system is working efficiently before it’s needed during summer. A typical air conditioner tune-up consists of inspecting wiring, hoses and ducts, along with Freon gas levels in the cooling unit.

By scheduling a tune-up during cooler spring months, you cn also save by avoiding costly repairs in summer when HVAC servicing
companies are at their busiest.

2) Close drapes and blinds on sunny days in west-facing windows

Much of the heat entering houses during summer is from windows facing south and west. By keeping your windows shaded during the hottest times of the day, this will help cool your house and reduce the workload on the air conditioner.

3) Seal open gaps into your house

Gaps in your house can allow hot and cold air into places where it’s not needed, making your air conditioner work harder to remove it. An accredited home energy inspector can find those gaps and recommend the proper fixes, to increase both the level of comfort in your home while saving you money in energy costs.

Call Tiburon Energy today to learn more. 513-681-9300.

Home Energy Checkups

Clark Howard, a “money coach” whose show appears during weekends on HLN, aired a special inside look at home energy checkups as a way to save money on utility costs. Reporter Jennifer Westhoven brought a team of home energy auditors to inspect her house and offer recommendations for improvement.

Take a look at what they found.

Think Twice Before Choosing a Reduced Electricity Offer

Since the start of 2011, many homeowners in Ohio have received offers from electric suppliers of reduced rates on electricity charges after signing a one- or two-year contract. Ohio law allows for competition on electric supply, but beware of what you are agreeing to.

Standard 3-prong electrical outlet
Reduced costs on your electric bills sound great, but examine each offer closely.

“Many people don’t realize that there are three components to their electric bills: generation, transmission and distribution charges, all of which are priced at different rates,” says Toni Winston, president of Tiburon Energy. “Many offers don’t specify the exact component(s) they are reducing. Even when the offers are specific, the changes don’t have a real savings effect.”

The best way to lower your electric bill is to simply use less electricity. Switch to more-efficient CFL light bulbs, turn off lights when leaving a room and raise the thermostat temperature when running the air conditioning during the summer months.

Kentucky does not allow competition for electric or natural gas supplies, while Indiana allows competition only for natural gas supplies.

If You Can Measure It, Then You Can Manage It

Knowing what the cost to operate a device may make the difference in whether you buy that item or not. We regularly speak in terms of miles per gallon for cars; now we are speaking in terms of price for kilowatt hours.

hand-held electric monitor
This monitor allows homeowners to see electricity levels for each electric item they use.

The Department of Energy’s Energy Star program has brought that principle to the consumer. Products earn the Energy Star label by being at least 25% more energy-efficient than that of other products in the same product class. In addition, many new appliances are built with smart meters to improve efficiency.

Smart meters and home electricity monitors offer a more detailed view of electricity consumption by connecting to a home’s main power supply. A recent Wall Street Journal article on home electricity monitors points out that the average American consumer who monitors their home electricity usage in real time can reduce power consumption by an average of 9.2%, which climbs to 12% when monitoring individual appliances.

It pays to be a smart consumer, and when it comes to lowering your electric bills, there are more ways than ever before to get valuable information. But don’t forget that a house is a system with other resources that require monitoring. Contact the professionals at Tiburon Energy today for a complete home energy audit.

Remodeling with Efficiency in Mind

If you own an older house and are considering remodeling work, then be sure to ask about the energy efficiency qualifications of the remodelers that you are considering. Many remodelers are realizing the importance and rising demand for energy efficiency features, so many have turned to Tiburon Energy as a partner.

logo for NARI (National Association of the Remodeling IndustryIn the Cincinnati area, a good resource to find a professional remodeler company is the Ohio Valley Chapter of National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), a not-for-profit trade association dedicated exclusively to serving the professional remodeling industry and to serve as an ally to area homeowners. Toni Winston, president of Tiburon Energy, was the keynote speaker at a NARI membership meeting on February 17, where she addressed many of the issues regarding energy efficiency and weatherization.

Check out NARI Ohio Valley online for more information on remodeling and to find a professional remodeler.

Whose house is more efficient? Look to the roofs.

Could this house be more energy-efficient?

During the cold winter months, a fairly accurate way to tell if your house is energy-efficient is to check the rate of snow melt from your roof in comparison with your neighbors. Since many houses in a neighborhood are similar in design, building materials and age, this makes for a quick way to compare how much heat is being lost through a roof.

A more energy-efficient house has less heat escaping through the roof. A house with fewer air gaps and higher levels of insulation prevents heat loss, leading to less use of heating equipment such as furnaces and boilers.

This has a similar effect in summer when running the air conditioner, when insulation prevents heated air from mixing with cooled air.

So remember, more snow on a rooftop could be a sign of higher efficiency house. If you are concerned about energy loss concerns in your home, contact the energy efficiency experts at Tiburon Energy today.

5 Simple Energy-Saving Tips for Winter Weather

When the weather outside is cold and icy, your home should be warm and inviting. That is, until you see your energy bills! Here are some simple ways to help keep you warm without losing your shirt.

house covered in snow
Stay comfortable and don’t let the cold temperatures ruin your energy costs

1) Install a programmable thermostat, and set it to automatically turn the temperature down when you are not at home or when you are asleep. Along with a warm blanket, you won’t even know you’re saving money while sleeping. The thermostat can be programmed to increase the temperature before you awake up.

2) Insulate the water pipes that connect to a hot water tank with polyethylene foam wrap. Make sure the interior diameter of the foam sleeve matches the exterior diameter of the pipe. Insulate both hot and cold lines, including the elbows and union. For a gas-fired hot water heater, pay close attention to the draft port by keeping it clear.

3) Seal and secure your duct system at the connection points and at the floor boot, to avoid heated air from escaping through the misaligned connections or the irregularly placed duct boots. Mastic is a fibrous, thick compound that is “painted” or troughed around the circumference of a duct junction, to seal off any irregularities in the fittings.

4) Instead of using small electric space heaters, put on another pair of socks or a warm sweater. People that turn down their thermostats to save energy defeat the purpose when they turn on a space heater to stay warm.

5) When the fireplace is not in use, keep the damper closed tightly. Installing a chimney balloon provides an extra layer of insulation and air sealing. Chimney balloons typically cost $40-$60 and can be deflated when the fireplace is in use.

Every house is different, so to make sure your living space is as energy-efficient as possible, the best thing to do is to have a personalized home energy inspection. Ask the building energy experts at Tiburon Energy to schedule an inspection by calling 513-681-9300.