Home Energy Auditor

Home Energy Auditor

A conversation with . . .

Mauricio Mejia

Climate Kids:
What is a home energy auditor, Mauricio?
Mauricio:
A home energy auditor helps people understand WHERE and WHEN electricity is used--or wasted—at home. A home energy auditor also suggests ways to reduce the use of electricity or use it more efficiently.
CK:
What do you look for?
Mauricio:
I work for a power company, and in my job, electricity is the name of the game. Electricity in homes is mostly used for lighting, air conditioning, and electrical appliances like refrigerators and electronics like TVs and computers. So I look for electrical appliances and lights that waste electricity. Then I offer alternatives.
CK:
What are some of the worst energy wasters that you see in people's homes?
Mauricio:
Air conditioners left running all day when no one is home-not even a dog or cat. Or, lights left on during the day or when no one is in the room. I also find air leaks through holes, cracks, and windows. On hot days, these leaks waste a lot of energy cooling the whole outdoors—or on cold days, heating the whole outdoors.
CK:
How did you learn to do what you do?
Mauricio:
By taking classes and learning about electricity and home energy audits. Sometimes, we use special equipment to find air leaks and heat leaks, so we have to learn about these special tools.
CK:
Can anyone be a home energy auditor?
Mauricio:
Yes, anyone can do this at home and find out which parts of the house use the most energy. First, take a look around your house and count the number of lights you have, and estimate how long they are usually on each day. Also, list all the appliances and home electronics that use electricity and how long they are used each day. Then figure out what you can do different every day to save electricity.
CK:
What are some of the easiest things to fix to make a home more energy efficient?
Mauricio:
You can easily replace your lights with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs or CFLs. Replace old, inefficient appliances with new ones with the Energy Star label. Seal holes or cracks around walls, ceilings, windows, and doors that leak air into or out of your home.
CK:
Which appliances in most homes use the most electricity?
Mauricio:
The biggest energy hogs are air conditioning units, old appliances like refrigerators that aren't Energy Star rated, and Incandescent light bulbs.
CK:
Can we really help slow down climate change just by reducing our use of electricity?
Mauricio:
Yes. Most of the electricity in the U.S. is generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal and gas, which are the main causes of climate change. By reducing electricity use, you are helping to slow down climate change and saving money.
CK:
Thanks, Mauricio. Good tips for us. We need more people doing what you are doing to make us all more aware of how we can help slow down climate change.