# Energy Audits & Tips

Need in-person assistance or prefer doing it yourself? Either way, Midwest Electric can help you figure out how to maximize your home's energy efficiency.

Click here and see how much you could save by upgrading windows, insulation, heating systems and more. You can even see how much you can save simply by changing your thermostat setting.

If you need new insulation, we offer rebates.

Midwest Electric offers a variety of energy audits:

- Over-the-phone – simply call us at 1-800-962-3830 and our customer service representatives or energy advisors can analyze your energy use and help you determine where your energy dollars are going – and how you can save. No charge for this service.
- In-Person Basic Audit – This is no cost. We will do a walk-through at your home or business and identify areas of potential savings and help you better understand where you are using energy.
- In-Person Advanced Audit – This service features a blower door test to determine air infiltration problem areas plus an infrared thermal gun scan to find “hidden” opportunities, and an extensive follow-up report with specific recommendations to help you prioritize opportunities. This service is provided by a RESNet certified HERS rater. Your cost – $200.
if you do one of the following:**But you can get this for FREE**- Show receipts or other proof of at least $200 in home energy improvements as a result of the audit. Improvements can include: insulation, caulk, weatherstripping, Energy Star appliances, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient doors and windows, and more.
- Install a new electric water heater; a heat pump water heater; an air-source heat pump; or a geothermal system. Requires a free peak load reduction switch on the water heater; could qualify you for our discounted heating rate.
- Above must be done within 60 days of receiving audit report; May be subject to inspection and verification.

Click here to request an In-Person Basic or Advanced Audit.

Visit our YouTube page for more than 20 different brief videos on energy-saving tips including refrigerators, ceiling fans, air infiltration, landscaping, duct work and more.

These are simple things you can do to start saving energy and money today! Click here for the full list of these great tips.

Save energy, save money with our appliance energy tips.

Electric meters are very reliable and accurate. Typically, if a meter goes bad it would slow down…not speed up. Sometimes, a problem – such as an electrical short – may occur with your appliances or home wiring. Here is a method to test your circuits:

Do a breaker test as follows, first on your 220 volt items (ie, water heater, AC unit, clothes dryer, etc.). Have someone watching the meter, and have someone at the breaker box to turn off each breaker for each of those larger appliances one at a time. For example, turn off the water heater breaker and if this slows down the meter considerably then there may be a problem with the water heater such as a heating element. Turn that breaker back on and proceed to check additional breakers. If the meter was spinning fast and the breaker test slows it down then this will help determine which appliance may need to be checked.

Alternatively, you could turn off all breakers including the main breaker. Then have someone watch the meter while you turn on each breaker separately until one makes the meter spin fast.

**Rebates**

Click here for a listing of current rebates or special programs.

**Fuel Cost Comparisons – the “break even” price**

What is the break even price for propane vs electricity, or for natural gas vs electricity? In other words, at what price per gallon (or price per mcf) is propane (or natural gas) more economical than electricity for heating or water heating.

To find this magical price, we’ll use the following assumptions:

- 90% efficiency propane (or natural gas) furnace
- 60% efficiency propane (or natural gas) water heater (standard)
- 100% efficiency electric resistance heat (baseboard, ceiling cable)
- 250% efficiency air-source heat pump (standard)
- 350% efficiency geothermal heat pump (standard)
- 92% efficiency electric water heater (standard)
- 100,000 BTU per ccf of natural gas
- 3,413 BTU per kilowatt hour of electricity
- 91,500 BTU per gallon of propane
- Midwest Electric standard residential rate, $0.10 per kWh
- 40,032 BTU per day in water heating energy use
- 80 million BTU annual home heating

### Water Heaters

**Electric Cost:**

(40,032 / 3,413 / .92 efficiency) x $0.10 = $1.28 per day

**Propane Equivalent:**

(40,032 / 91,500 / .60 efficiency) x Y = 0.73Y

Solve for Y:

$0.73Y = $1.28

Y = $1.75

So, Propane would have to cost less than $1.75 per gallon in order for it to be more economical than electricity for water heating (based on the assumptions).

**Natural Gas Equivalent:**

(40,032 / 100,000 / .60 efficiency) x Y = 0.67Y

Solve for Y:

$0.67Y = $1.28

Y = $1.91

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $1.91 per ccf (or $19.10 per mcf) for it to be more economical than electricity for water heating (based on the Assumptions).

### Heating Comparison

**Electric Resistance:**

(1,000,000 / 3,413 / 1) x $0.10 = $29.30 per million BTU

**Propane Equivalent:**

(1,000,000 / 91,500 / .9 efficiency) x Y = 12.14Y

Solve for Y:

$12.14Y = $29.30

Y = $2.41. So, Propane would have to cost less than $2.41 per gallon for it to be more economical than electric resistance heat (ie, baseboard).

**Natural Gas Equivalent:**

(1,000,000 / 100,000 / .9 efficiency) x Y = 11.11Y

Solve for Y:

$11.11Y = $29.30

Y = $2.64

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $2.64 per ccf (or $26.40 per mcf) for it to be more economical than electric resistance heat (ie, baseboard).

### Electric Air-Source Heat Pump

(1,000,000 / 3,413 / 2.5 efficiency) x $.10 = $11.72 per million BTU

**Propane Equivalent:**

(1,000,000 / 91,500 / .9 efficiency) x Y = 12.14Y

$12.14Y = $11.72

Y = $0.97

So, Propane would have to cost less than 97 cents per gallon for it to be more economical than an air-source heat pump.

**Natural Gas Equivalent:**

(1,000,000 / 100,000 / .9 efficiency) x Y = 11.11Y

Solve for Y:

$11.11Y = $11.72

Y = $1.05

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $1.05 per ccf (or $10.50 per mcf) for it to be more economical than an air-source heat pump.

### Electric Geothermal

(1,000,000 / 3,413 / 3.5 efficiency) x $.10 = $8.37 per million BTU

**Propane Equivalent:**

(1,000,000 / 91,500 / .9 efficiency) x Y = 12.14Y

$12.14Y = $8.37

Y = $0.69

So, Propane would have to cost less than 69 cents per gallon for it to be more economical than geothermal.

**Natural Gas Equivalent:**

(1,000,000 / 100,000 / .9 efficiency) x Y = 11.11Y

Solve for Y:

$11.11Y = $8.37

Y = $0.75

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $0.75 per ccf (or $7.50 per mcf) for it to be more economical than geothermal.