A few days ago, ABC 15 did a news story on how an energy-saving scam has hit the Valley and Nation running wide. At Ideal Energy, we have had a few customers contact us because they were scammed or had almost been scammed by a company misleading them to fake energy saving results. Of course, being the professionals that we are, we went in there and got the job done right.

Companies going door-to-door, offering “free enery audits” are not legitimate energy auditing and home performance contracting companies. APS and SRP monitor the qualified contractors very closely, and we are absolutely NOT permitted to perform a free energy audit. We are REQUIRED, by the utility to charge $99. Every legitimate contractor part of the Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is required to charge $99- no more, no less. So if a salesman comes knocking on your door trying to tell you they will perform a “free energy audit” on your home- be aware, they are scamming you.

A real energy audit that is part of the Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program will invlove technical diagnostic equipment (such as a blower door, pressure pan, duct blaster, and a monometer) and typically take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of your home. The energy auditor will also get in your attic for about 10-20 minutes. They will also discuss with you the rebates that are available to you from SRP, APS and Soutwest Gas. If an “auditor” doesn’t do those things, wave your red flag!

Companies offering a “radiant barrier/KVAR/attic fan/solar blanket” combination will not save you any money. In our climate in Arizona, radiant barriers just don’t save enough money for one to consider it cost effective. The other three, (KVAR, attic fan, solar blanket) just don’t work. Period, and end of story.

We have actually had a homeowner fall for one of these “scams” and after a year of waiting for savings and increased comfort in this master bedroom, he became fed up, and called us to fix their mistakes. Unfortunately, the scammer never gave him his money back.

So be aware. Check the BBB to see if your contractor is in good standing. Check the AZ ROC to see if they are in good standing and licensed, bonded and insured before going through with any of their work recommendations. Ask them for references, and CALL their references! You will be glad you did. Oh, and keep Ideal Energy in mind when looking for anything heating and cooling, comfort, insulation and savings related- we can help you throughout the entire process and in an honest and results oriented way!