Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TONY & GILL, July 2009 completion - 114% projected to actual savings realization rate

My Mother and Stepfather's project

Mom and Tony live in a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath, 1800 square foot town home built in the early 1980's.  ​Their furnace and a/c were original and ​in summer of 2009 it seemed to them smart to consider replacement. The 25+ year old AC had died sometime during the previous summer, and the furnace was likely to follow any moment.

Their experience with "Home Performance" was not great. About a year before I got into the home performance business they had a company perform a "free" audit. This audit consisted of data gathering, a hastily prepared work scope, and a proposal for $14,000 worth of work. When Tony asked if there was any "cost/benefit" analysis for the recommended improvements, he was told that he would receive that if he signed the contract to have the work performed. 

Let me repeat, he was told he would get the cost benefit analysis, the decision making tool showing how and if to move forward, only AFTER making the decision to move forward.

This seemed a little bit out of order to Tony and my Mother, so they thanked the folks for coming and showed them the door.  As you can imagine, after that experience they were less than receptive to my suggestion of paying for an energy audit which included a comprehensive home assessment.

I explained that the report would show the improvement recommendations with the cost/benefit analysis Tony was looking for, and that if they elected to have work performed we would use the NYSERDA contractor incentive to pay for the audit - effectively crediting their audit fee towards the project, AND they would get a 10% consumer incentive from the program.  

Since they knew they needed a furnace and AC, and recognized that taking a closer look at this point might avoid missing opportunities or making mistakes, they agreed.

The audit results showed their current furnace was over-sized to their current and improved load. It also uncovered some weaknesses in their air barrier and insulation, all of which allowed us to paint a clearer picture of their options. Initially only interested in a new furnace, the process allowed them to see the wisdom of correcting obvious building deficiencies and then installing a matching system. 

They had their basement, attic and a hidden wall above the garage spray foamed, primarily for air sealing purposes, and installed a Carrier Infinity Hybrid Heat (modulating furnace and 2 stage heat pump) system with the critically important Infinity Communicating Controller. 

By reducing the homes leakage and improving the insulation we were able to install a smaller furnace.  This smaller furnace requires less airflow and is therefore much quieter and more comfortable even temperatures and better humidity control. The new equipment has 5 heating stages, so much of the season it can match the homes heat loss and run gently and continually.  It heats like a candle, which means big comfort and energy savings over the old on/off blowtorch they replaced. 


Tony: "I sleep through the night and don't get nose bleeds or chapped hands."
Gill: "The temperatures are much more even throughout the house, and that fantastic air filter means there is a LOT less dusting."
Our projected savings for the work performed was 349 kWh and 182 therms, which converted to $282 at the NYSERDA required pricing of $.1610 kWh and $1.42 therm

Below are before and after annual consumption numbers;

622 therms 5/10-4/11
422 therms 4/11-3/12

11201 kWh 5/10-4/11
10374 kWh 4/11-3/12

Savings calculate to 827 kWh and 200 therms. At current $.125 kWh and $1.10 therm energy costs the dollar savings are $323.38 per year, a 1.14 realization on projected dollar savings. 

Click HERE to see the project photo album.