Friday, October 17, 2008

Economic News & Free Home Energy Audits

Economic Forecasting

If you missed today's NPR Metro Connection radio program, "Wall Street and Washington,"
you can listen to the segment online at
Is DC always sheltered during economic down turns? Is our local economy vulnerable? Which sectors are effected?
This program features a discussion with economist Stephen Fuller, Director for the Center for Regional Analysis at
George Mason University School of Public Policy.

Also, yesterday Mayor Fenty made public his proposal to reduce the city’s budget gap. The DC website states that, "...his proposal was developed to respond immediately and appropriately to changes in the economy."

Going Green : From the DC Department of Energy (DDOE)

Free Home Energy Audits for District Residents

For questions about this program, constituents should call the DDOE Energy Office at (202) 673-6700.

Washington, DC – District residents can prepare their homes for winter with a free energy audit from the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). The audits recommend easy, inexpensive ways to improve energy efficiency. For example, reducing air leaks can save up to 30 percent of the energy consumed in a home.

“We have great, historic older homes in the District,” said DDOE Director George S. Hawkins. “But many of them lose as much energy as leaving a window open all winter. Our energy audits will help residents stop wasting energy, so they can save money and reduce global warming too.”

DDOE has contracted with Elysian Energy, LLC and Patuxent Environmental Group to perform the audits. Inspectors measure energy characteristics, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-wall ratios, heating and cooling system efficiency, the solar orientation of the home, and water heating systems. Diagnostic testing, which may include a blower door for air leakage and duct leakage testing, is often part of the rating.

At the end of the process, the homeowner or renter receives a one- to five-star rating for energy efficiency, and a report listing cost-effective ways to improve the rating. DDOE also offers information on tax credits and financing for energy-efficient home improvements.

For more information, or to schedule an energy audit, call DDOE’s Energy Office at (202) 673-6700 or visit their website.