Homeowners in Central Valley, California receive grants for free energy audit

The development of energy-efficient homes is an ongoing process requiring constant attention from homeowners to achieve properly. In many communities, including the Central Valley of California, local governments have been encouraging energy efficiency in homes through grants providing a free energy audit by professional home inspection services to homeowners.

California's CBS affiliate KGPE reports that homeowners in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties could receive a free energy audit through the Home Energy Tune-up program. After the home inspection company analyzes the home, it provides residents with a personal road map toward reaching energy efficiency.

"[Energy savings could produce] hundreds of millions of dollars that would be circulating in our economy in a different way instead of paying it out on energy costs," said Fresno city official Joseph Oldham.

Fresno homeowners spend about $860 million in energy costs each year, which is both 30 percent higher than the state average and larger than the costs of energy upgrades.

TreeHugger reports that the average cost of retrofitting a home with energy improvements is about $10,000 before government incentives are factored in. If more homeowners are able to take advantage of programs like the one offered in Fresno, Americans may be able to help reduce energy waste, which has become a significant problem.

The news source also reports that the energy contained in the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost about as much as the energy wasted annually by 75,000 American households. Of course, daily energy waste does not receive nearly as much news coverage as the spill did.

By hiring a Washington, D.C. home inspection service and listening to their advice regarding energy enhancements, homeowners can address their own energy consumption. If they then encourage their friends, family members and neighbors to institute similar upgrades, the country's energy waste issue may not be so significant a problem.