What’s A Home Performance Contractor?

Ask KateDear Kate,
We’re tired of being cold in the winter, so we’re ready to take avantage of our utility’s special rebates for insulation and furnaces. The requirements say that we have to use a home performance contractor. What is this? Who knew that homes could perform?

Dear Wondering,
Indeed, home performance can be a confusing term. The idea is that our houses should operate as a system to deliver comfort at a low energy cost. A few years ago, I took a training class once from a master contractor in Northern California. He upgraded homes so well that the furnace and AC were on for just a few hours each day. The homes were very quiet, as all systems were working as planned. Airflow was carefully calculated, and indoor air quality was high. The energy bills were just $20-$30 per month. Now that’s home performance!

Home performance training helps a contractor view the house as a system, and coordinate the many parts. To qualify for local rebates and incentives, your utility may require this training. Often, it is offered through the Building Performance Institute (bpi.org)

Good luck on the upgrade, and may your energy savings be large!


Do you have a question for Kate? Email her at askkate@wattzon.com. And yes, there is a real Kate. She has helped hundreds of consumers save energy the easy way – through habits and low cost changes. Everyone saves after Kate’s home visit, even the greenest of homes. She’s that good!


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