# 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.

Here are 101 easy ways to start saving energy and money today! Click here for the full list of these great tips.

The U.S. Department of Energy also offers a Home Energy-Saver Guide with tips on how to save energy (and money on your electric bill!) at home.

Click here to take an interactive tour through a digital home to find ways to save energy and money.

Click here to access our Energy Resource Center. You'll 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.

Midwest Electric offers its residential members free walk-thru energy audits. The audit is useful to identify areas of potential savings and to improve a home's energy efficiency. To help you better understand where you are using energy, daily and hourly data is analyzed to help troubleshoot high use issues. Members may also access usage information by creating a SmartHub account and using Usage Explorer after login. Give us a call at 1-800-962-3830 or e-mail info@midwestrec.com to request a walk-thru energy audit.

Download a free home energy walk-through checklist here. Feel free to print it out, check each item, and see how energy efficient your home is!

**Printable Energy Savings Sheets**

These helpful sheets provide comprehensive, easy-to-understand instructions for improving efficiency in your home. Whether a DIY’er or working with a contractor, these sheets help provide detailed guidance.

**Attic**

- Air Sealing
- Attic Access
- HVAC Systems
- Insulation
- Kneewalls
- Pipes & Vents
- Radiant Barriers
- Ventilation

**Basement**

- Comfort & Safety
- Foundation Decisions
- HVAC Systems
- Insulating Floor Systems
- Insulating Walls & Rim Joists
- Sealing Doors & Windows
- Sealing Foundation Subfloor
- Sealing Wall & Rim Joists

**Living Space**

**Residential Energy**

**Systems**

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.

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.

**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, $0.11 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 $0.11 = $1.40 per day

**Propane Equivalent:**

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

Solve for Y:

$0.73Y = $1.40

Y = $1.92

So, Propane would have to cost less than $1.92 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 = $1.40

Y = $2.09

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $2.09 per ccf (or $20.90 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 $0.11 = $32.23 per million BTU

**Propane Equivalent:**

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

Solve for Y:

$12.14Y = $32.23

Y = $2.65. So, Propane would have to cost less than $2.65 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 = $32.23

Y = $2.90

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $2.90 per ccf (or $29.00 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 $.11 = $12.89 per million BTU

**Propane Equivalent:**

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

$12.14Y = $12.89

Y = $1.06

So, Propane would have to cost less than $1.06 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 = $12.89

Y = $1.16

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $1.16 per ccf (or $11.60 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 $.11 = $9.21 per million BTU

**Propane Equivalent:**

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

$12.14Y = $9.21

Y = $0.76

So, Propane would have to cost less than $0.76 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 = $9.21

Y = $0.83

So, Natural Gas would have to cost less than $0.83 per ccf (or $8.30 per mcf) for it to be more economical than geothermal.