Home Energy Squad helps homeowners save energy, cut costs

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Last year, the Home Energy Squad made 750 visits to homes in St. Paul – helping homeowners reduce their energy bills by using gas and electricity more wisely.
Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE) Senior Marketing Account Manager Ashley Robertson said, “We deliver the Home Energy Squad services. CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy created the program, and anyone who is a customer of theirs is able to participate. We’ll send two energy consultants to your home to evaluate energy saving opportunities, and we’ll install energy saving materials as needed on the spot.”
These materials can include door weather stripping, a water heater blanket, a programmable thermostat, LED light bulbs, high-efficiency water fixtures, and insulating water heater pipe wrap.
Air leaks are a major source of heat loss in older St. Paul homes. During a Home Energy Squad visit, a technician will perform a blower door test to measure the severity of home air leaks. They will also complete an inspection of attic insulation and all exterior walls using an infrared camera.
Jarad Miles is an Energy Auditor and Field Supervisor with CEE. He said, “If a home needs air sealing or insulation, we can provide a quotes on-site and connect the client with qualified contractors. All of this can really increase the comfort of an older home in winter.
“We also test heating systems (furnace and boiler) for combustion safety. These heating systems should be checked every year by an HVAC professional for optimal performance. A malfunctioning gas heating or cooking system can leak carbon monoxide gas into the air.”
Usually the cost for a Home Energy Squad visit is $100. A home visit takes two and one-half to three hours. For a limited time, CEE is offering readers of the Monitor a reduced price of $50; mention this article when scheduling.
If a homeowner is income eligible (50% of the state median income or 110% of the federal poverty guidelines), there is no charge for a Home Energy Squad visit. A scheduler can help determine is a low-income waiver is appropriate.
For scheduling assistance, email hesscheduling@mncee.org or call 651.328.6220.
CEE provides financing for a range of home improvement loans with competitive rates, including financing for solar panel installations. Robertson said, “We also run programs for small businesses interested in optimizing their energy efficiency. Our energy advisors can help clients choose energy upgrades for their homes. We really want this to be a start-to-finish process.”
The St. Paul location of CEE houses the fleet of 25 Home Energy Squad vans and services, and is located in the Midway at 1754 University Ave. W.

“As a non-profit,
we believe that energy
efficiency is a practical way to increase environmental sustainability.”
~ Ashley Robertson

Better for your home
Home Energy Squad is provided by CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy. The program is delivered by CEE. What are the benefits?

• Energy-saving products installed by skilled technicians for a cleaner environment

• A healthier, safer, more comfortable home

• Information and solutions personalized for each home or business

• Reduced energy bills


✓ For every degree you drop your programmable thermostat when you’re at work or sleeping, you’ll see a 1% savings in your gas bill per year (source: US Department of Energy). CEE suggests a setback of eight degrees.

✓ There are tax credits and rebates for energy upgrades such as adding insulation, high-efficiency furnaces, and more.

✓ A bathroom fan is an inexpensive alternative to an air exchanger. A healthy home requires good air flow between inside and out.