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You’ve Got Questions…TC Saves Has the Answers!

Q: What is included in a Home Energy Assessment?

A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.

During the assessment, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Energy assessments also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An assessment may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy assessment yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough assessment.

A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough assessments often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.

Here you'll find the following information:

Q: What is the TC Saves program?

TC Saves is helping hundreds of Traverse City residents make their homes more comfortable and significantly cut their energy bills. The program includes a very low-cost, expert, energy assessment of you home; a grant that pays for the most needed initial improvements; and the opportunity to invest a low-interest loan in additional improvement that make your home as efficient as possible. The program is designed to quickly improve your monthly household budget, as well!

Q: Who is eligible to participate?

All Traverse City residents and all Traverse City Light & Power customers are currently eligible. If you're not a Traverse City Area resident, please contact us about programs in your area. There is not an income requirement to qualify. Special efficiency programs that help low- to moderate-income households earning up to 250 percent of the poverty level are available. Call TC SAVES number for more info at 231-620-1060.

Q: I rent. Do I qualify for the program?

Yes, but you must talk to your landlord and get his approval first. Please contact him and ask if he or she is aware of TC Saves—and help us spread the word on this terrific opportunity!

Q: What specific types of services/equipment will the program provide?

When you sign up for the home energy assessment, a certified contractor will, included in the $100: • Install up to fifteen energy-efficient light bulbs • Install a high-efficiency shower head • Install a programmable thermostat • Install water heater insulation and pipe wrap • Conduct comprehensive assessment of home and identify additional energy-saving improvements, such as furnaces, insulation, etc.

Q: I’ve already made many energy-related upgrades to my home. What can TC Saves do for me?

That’s great! But unless a professional contractor has performed a sophisticated, comprehensive assessment of your home’s energy use, it’s likely there’s quite a bit more you can do, using the funding you qualify for with the assessment, to save energy and lower your utility bills.

Q: Can I receive the TC Saves grant money and do the work myself?

No. The program covers comprehensive energy assessments conducted by qualified professionals, and takes advantage of energy-saving devices contributed by Traverse City Light and Power and other partners.

Q: What if the assessment reveals the need for a new furnace, windows, or other big-ticket items that I cannot afford?

TCSaves’ goal is to help you prioritize the most cost-effective steps for savings energy and money in your home and make modest upgrades at minimal cost. There is no requirement to act on all of the steps your home assessment suggests. Our contractors will tell you about additional incentives, affordable loans, and other resources that may be available if you want to invest in additional energy-saving items.

Q: Who performs the work?

TC Saves contracts with authorized professionals to perform the assessment and install the upgrades.

Q: Can I select my own contractor?

No. TC Saves has selected professionals who, after some very specific training for the program, are authorized to provide the service.

Q: Why do I have to use a TC Saves contractor?

TC Saves contractors are specifically trained in the program’s goals and incentives. This is essential to maximize results for individual homeowners and to ensure the program’s success.