Home Energy Audits & Ratings

Home energy audits (also referred to as home energy assessments) and home energy ratings are often the first step in determining how efficient your home is and where it might be wasting energy. Audits and ratings will help you understand which parts of your home are working well already and also provide recommendations on measures intended to save energy and improve the efficiency, comfort, and safety of your home.

Home Energy Audits

A home energy audit is a review of a home’s energy performance, including an assessment of both the home’s energy features and the household’s energy consumption patterns. Home energy audits identify how efficiently your home is operating and where your home is wasting energy. An audit will assess the effectiveness of your home's insulation and equipment, and what actions you can take to make your home more efficient. This may include diagnostic testing of your home air leakage, performance of your energy equipment, and checking for potential hazards in your home. A comprehensive home energy audit including diagnostic testing may take 2-3 hours to complete, and you receive a detailed and customized report of the results. For more in-depth information on home energy audits performed by NYSERDA-approved contractors, visit the Building Performance InstituteLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Benefits of Home Energy Audits

  • Energy Usage. Audits help you understand how much energy your home is using, and which equipment (such as heating and cooling systems) are using the most.
  • Unknown Issues. Audits can uncover hidden problems (such as leaky air ducts or uninsulated walls) that may be making your home less efficient, making you uncomfortable, and increasing your utility bills.
  • Health and Safety. Audits can uncover potential hazards in your home (such as improper ventilation, which may degrade air quality, or areas with high humidity and cold surfaces that might support mold growth).
  • Opportunities. Once an audit is complete, you will receive a report listing where your home is performing well and a prioritized list of potential improvements to help determine where your home improvement dollars would be best spent.
  • Savings and Comfort. Acting on audit recommendations will not only help you save on your utility bills but also increase the comfort of your home by better moderating the temperature, eliminating drafts, and improving air quality.

Hear testimonialsLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. about the benefits of home energy audits from New York State homeowners.

Ready to make your home more comfortable and start saving? Learn more about free or reduced-cost home energy audit.

Home Energy Ratings

A home energy rating is a thorough review of a home’s energy features. Home energy ratings analyze how energy efficient your home is compared to other similar homes. This analysis generates a score or rating for your home based on its energy performance. The process for a rating can be shorter than an energy audit, and may not include diagnostic testing and health and safety checks. When your rating is complete, you receive a detailed and customized report of the results.

Benefits of Home Energy Ratings:

  • Cost Savings. Increase energy and cost savings by better understanding how efficiently your home is operating and where you can make modifications.
  • Resale Value. Set your home apart from the rest by showcasing your home’s proven energy performance rating.
  • Home Buying Confidence. If and when you buy a new home, look at a home’s energy rating to ensure higher comfort and lower energy bills.

Homeowners who receive a home energy rating may qualify for additional types of loans.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan Affordable financing for improving the energy and water efficiency, and resiliency of homes Up to $3,500 with Pearl Certification Up to 15% of home’s value with Home Energy Score Visit the Fannie Mae websiteLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.
Freddie Mac Green Choice Mortgage Affordable, accessible mortgage to include energy efficiency improvement costs in the mortgage Up to 15% of the property value Talk to your lender or Visit the Freddie Mac websiteLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.
Federal Housing Administration Energy Efficient Mortgage Available through HUD-approved lender; Finance energy-efficiency projects as part of your mortgage $1,500 to $25,000 Visit the HUD websiteLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.
Veterans Administration Energy Efficient Mortgage Available to qualified military personnel, reservists, and veterans; Can be used when purchasing an existing home $3,000 to $6,000 Visit the VA Cleveland Regional Loan Center websiteLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.
USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program Eligible applicants may build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a home in an eligible rural area Provides 90% loan note guarantee to approved lenders to reduce risk of lending Visit the USDA Rural Development WebsiteLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Ready to get started? Certain areas in New York are eligible for low-to no-cost home energy ratings through NYSERDA’s programs.

If you live in one of the following areas, you are eligible for a home energy rating with Pearl Home Certification or Home Energy Score:

Don’t see your area? Contact Pearl Home CertificationLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. to schedule a home energy rating.

Next Steps After an Audit or Rating

Once your home energy audit or rating is completed, you will be provided with a list of recommended improvements you can consider to ensure your home is performing at peak efficiency. Start with the projects that best meet your needs and your budget and consider completing others in the future. There may be some improvements you can do yourself; others will require a professional to do the work. Get started today by exploring a list of qualified contractors.