If your question is not answered here, or if you'd like more information, please contact us.

How do I request an Energy Audit?
Request an audit online - or by telephone at 800-376-0517.

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Who performs the Energy Audit?
Minnesota Energy Resources contracts with G.A. Ernst & Associates Inc. to perform the energy audits. The auditors do not sell any energy product or equipment. What they do provide is objective unbiased recommendations to improve the energy efficiency, comfort, durability, safety and affordability of your home.

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What are the auditor's qualifications and work experience?
The State of Minnesota certifies auditors who take a number of courses related to homes and home energy use and who pass an audit certification test administered by the Minnesota Department of Economic Security.

Founded in 1987, G.A. Ernst & Associates Inc. has performed over 22,000 residential and 2,500 commercial energy audits. Greg has 23 years experience, Jim 19 years and Bo 10 years.

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Will I be sold anything?
The auditors are independent technicians who do not sell any energy product or equipment. What they do provide is unbiased recommendations to improve the energy efficiency, comfort, durability, safety and affordability of your home.

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How long will my audit take?
The Standard Audit takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours and the more in-depth Performance Audit takes 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

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How long does it take from the time I request an audit until the time the audit is performed?
Customers are contacted within a few days from the time they request an audit to confirm contact information, customer concerns and building information. Generally the audit is scheduled within four to six weeks of the request. At certain times of the year, the response time is shorter, and at other times, it may be longer. However, scheduling Performance Audits are only available during winter months because the infrared camera requires cold outdoor air temperatures to be an effective diagnostic tool.

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How will my auditor contact me?
The auditor will contact you by telephone to schedule an audit within the timeframe noted above. If the auditor is unable to contact you by telephone, you will receive an email from our energy auditing firm, G.A. Ernst & Associates, Inc.

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Why doesn't Minnesota Energy Resources schedule the audit at the same time that I request one?
Minnesota Energy Resources does not directly conduct Residential Energy Audits, but contracts with a professional energy auditing firm who will contact you to schedule your audit.

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How do I pay for the audit?
You will be billed on your Minnesota Energy Resources natural gas bill under "Other Charges." The charge will be equal to the co-payment required for the specific type of audit you have - either $40 for the Standard Energy Audit or $125 for the Home Performance Audit.

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What is “House as a System” approach to energy efficiency?
The "house as a system" approach accepts the reality that the various components and systems of the home do not work independently. Understanding the inter-relations and accommodating them requires knowledge of many systems including heating, cooling, ventilation with respect to moisture, temperature and air leakiness. Given appropriate consideration, the net result is a home that performs better on many fronts: energy efficiency, comfort, durability, safety, and affordability.

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When will I receive the energy audit results?
The auditor will complete a written report while on-site.

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What is a combustion safety test and furnace efficiency test?
Gas burners should be inspected and maintained every 2-4 years. The combustion safety and furnace efficiency test determine if the equipment is operating safely and efficiently.

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What is a blower door?
A blower door is a diagnostic tool designed to measure the airtightness of buildings and to help locate air leakage sites. Determining the airtightness of a building is important when trying to increase energy efficiency.

While you want your home to breathe and have good indoor air quality, you want to control where and how outside air enters your home. Blower door tests will help identify those air leaks in places where you don't want them.

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What is draft-only worst case testing?
Draft-only worst case testing measures furnace flue chimney draft and how it is affected by potential back-drafting such as exhaust fans, clothes dryer, furnace blower operation and open/close interior doors.

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What is an infrared camera?
An infrared measures surface temperature differences to pinpoint insulation voids and air leakage. The camera captures a picture-in-picture infrared and digital image. The infrared camera report with descriptions of existing conditions and proposed solutions will be provided in a report emailed to the customer.

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Why are Performance energy Audits restricted to the winter months?
The infrared camera requires cold outdoor air temperatures to be an effective diagnostic tool. Since infrared diagnostics measure surface temperatures, colder outdoor air temperatures provide a more dramatic picture to locate air leakage and insulation voids.

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Is an infrared camera required to find out why ice dams form on my roof?
The auditors are trained to identify the causes of ice dams and provide recommendations to eliminate them. In most cases, blower door diagnostics and inspection are sufficient to evaluate ice dam formation and determine solutions.

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How do I know if I should request blower door diagnostics (Standard Audit) or infrared camera diagnostics (Performance Audit)?
In most homes the blower door diagnostics & inspection is sufficient to correctly identify and diagnose, insulation voids and air leaks. The infrared camera is a useful diagnostic tool to analyze areas of your home which are NOT physically accessible and determine if further investigation will be required.

Some examples where the infrared camera is useful include:
  • Attic spaces that are not accessible for the auditor to physically inspect.

    Examples:
    • Tudor style home with upper level side attics that are not accessible
    • Split level homes with one or more attics that are not accessible
  • Cantilever floor cavities which are not accessible.

    Examples:
    • Upper level room that extends above front porch ceiling or located above the garage
    • Upper level room that extends beyond the lower level sidewall
    • Porch ceiling or eyebrow roof above entry doors
If you are unsure if your home requires infrared diagnostics we recommend you either:
  • Contact our energy auditing firm at 800-376-0517 to discuss your particular concerns, or
  • Note your particular concerns when signing up on-line and our auditing firm will contact you to help determine which level of service you require.

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