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Home Energy Efficiency and Electrification Hub
Welcome to Madison’s Home Energy and Electrification information hub. Here you will find information to help you make home energy improvements that reduce carbon emissions, save energy, and modernize your home.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency & Electrification
Most of the energy we use at home is for space and water heating
A home energy audit is a cost-effective excellent way to start improving your home's comfort and value. A professional will inspect and run diagnostics on your home including:
- Insulation levels in walls, ceilings, and attic
- Air leakage around windows and doors
- Heating and cooling systems
- Lighting and appliances
- Methane leaks
You will receive a comprehensive report that identifies energy-saving home improvements and available tax incentives.
Madison’s Home Energy Audit Program
Since 2017, the Mayor & Council, Environmental Commission, and Sustainable Madison Committee have endorsed an initiative to provide Madison residents with affordable home energy audits. The Borough of Madison $49 Home Energy Assessment program streamlines the process of choosing a home energy auditor, making the process more understandable and accessible. Ciel Power LLC was awarded the contract to become the officially recognized home energy audit contractor for Madison. Ciel has also administered similar programs in Summit, Millburn, Princeton, Glen Rock, and Highland Park, New Jersey.
Over 300 Madison households have taken advantage of audits by Ciel Power.
Other Home Audit Resources
An alternative to a professional audit, is to follow the Department of Energy Do-It Yourself Audit or check out PSE&G Online Home Energy Audit for energy-saving tips and recommendations. You can also virtually explore ways to save energy at home with this Energy Efficient House Tour.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides two kinds of benefits for consumers to support clean and efficient home energy: tax credits and rebates. Homeowners can claim up to $3,200 in any single year for home energy-efficiency upgrades, from installing insulation to heat pumps. The credit resets annually so upgrades can take place over multiple years. Your contractor can guide you on financial incentives during your home energy audit or as part of a home improvement project.
Find home efficiency and electrification upgrades that are eligible for federal programs here: Financing and Incentives | Department of Energy
Learn more here: Your cheat sheet to the climate law’s consumer… | Canary Media
Weatherization is a cost-effective way to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. A home energy audit will guide you in prioritizing projects including insulation, air sealing, and ventilation. These updates will lower utility bills and eliminate uncomfortable drafty areas at home.
- Insulation helps keep a house warm in summer and cool in winter. Adding insulation in parts of your home reduces your energy bills, especially in older homes. Insulation | Department of Energy
- Air sealing reduces air leakage in your home to save energy and improve comfort. Consumer Guide to Air Sealing the Home. Windows & Doors.
- A final step in the weatherization process is to ensure there is adequate ventilation to keep your home healthy. Examples of ventilation include exhaust fans as well as full-house ventilation.
About half of the energy used at home is for heating and cooling your house. Heat pumps provide a clean and efficient alternative to combustion heating that use fossil fuels. Residents benefit from federal incentives for heat pumps and by simplifying household maintenance with one system that can both heat and cool your home.
Over 80% of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) systems are replaced on an emergency basis. Just as we plan to replace our aging cars and appliances, homeowners can benefit from checking the age of their HVAC systems and make a plan for its replacement.
Heat pumps are an excellent way to modernize your home, improve comfort, and take advantage of federal tax incentives. Electric heat pumps work by moving heat from one place to another - similar to your air conditioner or refrigerator. A heat pump is essentially a high-efficiency air conditioner that also works in reverse to heat your home as well.
Air-source heat pumps transfer heat between your house and the outside air. For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version called a mini-split heat pump. Heat pumps are up to 3 times more efficient than combustion heating with fossil fuels.
Geothermal or ground-source heat pumps achieve higher efficiencies by transferring heat between your house and the ground. Although they cost more to install, geothermal heat pumps have low operating costs because they take advantage of relatively constant ground or water temperatures.
Other ways to manage household heating & cooling
- Install a smart thermostat to save money on heating and cooling by adjusting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home.
- Maintain your HVAC system on a regular schedule: clean and replace filters, seal and repair ductwork
- Use a combination of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, planting shade trees and daylighting - using windows to bring sunlight into your home.
- Get more tips here: heating and cooling.
Water heating accounts for about 14% of your home's energy use and is the third largest energy expense at home. Some ways you can reduce your water heating bills:
- Use energy-saving strategies, such as turning down the thermostat on your water heater and using the vacation mode when you are away
- Insulate your water heater and pipes
- Upgrade to a more efficient electric water heater. Compare water heater options here: Projects to Keep Your Energy Bills Out of Hot Water
Whether you are updating your kitchen or need a new clothes dryer, choosing energy-efficient appliances and electronics improves home performance and can lower utility bills. Check out these resources for choosing efficient appliances and managing how you use them to save energy.
Lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Replace inefficient bulbs with a more efficient choice, such as ENERGY STAR light-emitting diodes (LEDs) bulbs. Start by prioritizing high-use lights. When shopping for bulbs, consider the brightness and look for lumens and the Lighting Facts label. Also look for ways to use connected home devices or lighting controls such as sensors, dimmers, or timers to reduce lighting use.
For more than 100 years, the Madison Electric Department has provided customers with reliable and safe electrical service. In addition to managing the electric utility, Madison has initiated a number of projects to modernize our building energy use and reduce costs.
- Recent window replacement at the DPW garage,
- Energy efficiency improvements at the Library
- Passive design for affordable housing
- Replacing street lights with LEDs
The Borough also facilitates energy efficiency programs for residents, businesses, and community organizations through various boards and commissions. Since 2017, the Mayor & Council, Environmental Commission, and Sustainable Madison Committee have endorsed an initiative to provide Madison residents with affordable home energy audits currently provided by Ciel Power.