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As of: 12:48 PM, 10/29/20
A homeowner will receive the benefit of a full energy analysis along with health and safety testing during a Comprehensive Home Assessment. This will include the testing for air leakage using a blower door diagnostic test. Bathroom and kitchen fans will be tested with airflow devices to determine their efficiency and effectiveness in removing moisture. Thermal imaging will be used along with the blower door to find air leakage and energy loss through the building components. Health and safety testing will be performed with combustion analyzers on the furnace/boiler, water heater and oven (if they are combustion appliances). This tool will test for efficiency and safety issues. Carbon monoxide testing will be performed along with gas leak detection throughout the interior and exterior of the home. The house will be checked for moisture issues and harmful substances like asbestos and mold. An energy modeling report will be provided to the customer that will help them understand the efficiency and safety of their home in the building’s current state, along with a projection of savings from recommended improvements.
The cost of a Comprehensive Home Assessment (CHA) varies based on the size of the house and how extensive the testing and reporting is by the auditor. The average cost is typically between $275-$400. CHAs are typically cheaper than home inspections performed on newly purchased homes, which cost between $300-$500 according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A blower door test is a heavy-duty fan that is installed in an exterior door that simulates a 20-mph wind on all sides of the building. It pulls in air through leakage points in the home and allows the auditor to quantify the total amount of air leakage. When used in combination with a thermal camera, it will allow the auditor and homeowner to visually see where heating or cooling is being lost to the outside.
This varies widely based on the type and age of the home and the goals of the homeowner. This can range from simple caulking around windows and doors to attic insulation and air sealing to heating and cooling system replacement. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and the recommendations should be tailored to what makes the most sense to achieve the goals of the homeowner.
Not in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program. HPwES projects are typically larger in scale, so all rebate-qualifying projects must be performed by our highly trained Participating Contractors in order to ensure projects are performed to the highest quality standards while saving the customer the most energy. However, we have a great Insulation and Windows program for those customers who choose to make their homes more energy efficient on their own. They can learn more about this program at: https://www.consumersenergy.com/residential/save-money-and-energy/rebates/windows-and-insulation
A pre- and post-inspection must be performed by a Building Performance Institute certified professional Trade Ally. This ensures that the pre- and post-health and safety testing is performed to guarantee that the homeowner will not have any health and safety issues from work performed or measures installed. The program also has several independent Energy Auditors who can perform the pre- and post-inspections. If a homeowner chooses this path, they may use the contractor of their choice as long as they are state licensed in their listed profession.
The HPwES program offers the largest rebate packages available within Consumers Energy’s residential programs. Offers are also available for projects that aren’t offered through other programs, such as air and duct sealing. See the chart below for examples of HPwES program rebates compared to other residential programs.

Upgrades Program Fuel Type Rebate
Air sealing, attic insulation & rim joint insulation HPwES Combo $650
Attic insulation (R Value of 60 or higher) INWIN Combo $200
Air sealing, furnace comprehensive tune-up & Wi-Fi thermostat HPwES Natural Gas $400
Wi-Fi thermostat HVAC Natural Gas or Electric $50
Air sealing, efficient motor with new furnace installation, high efficiency air conditioner & Wi-Fi thermostat HPwES Electric $540
Split System Central AC (21 SEER or higher) HVAC Electric $500
The program has a field inspection process that reviews a percentage of projects. If your project is selected for a field inspection a third-party technician will come to the home to repeat the tests that the contractor performed during the post-inspection. They will check the quality of work to make sure that it meets ENERGY STAR standards. If they were to find something was incorrect or in need of repair, the contractor will be notified and will have 27 days to make sure that the issue is corrected.
Four to six weeks. The customer also has the option for the rebate to be instantly applied to the price of the work if the contractor agrees to reassign the rebate to themselves, eliminating the time waiting for a check to be delivered and potentially reducing the total up front finance costs.
Not every project will qualify for rebates. Your contractor will be able to walk you through the minimum requirements to qualify and what rebates, if any, to expect before any agreement is made. Certain rebates such as air sealing and multi-measure bonuses can only be confirmed after the post-work testing.
Depending upon what your assessment shows, what measures you take and what behaviors you change – your home’s environmental impact can vary. Overall, a more efficient home uses less energy to heat and/or cool, and this can help lower your home’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. As more homes take steps to become more efficient, this means that less energy is needed to run entire communities, which can reduce your energy provider’s overall emissions. So, when more people make their home more energy efficient through HPwES upgrades – this can really add up to help create a brighter energy future for all of Michigan. Find out more at micleanenergyplan.com.