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How Much Does an Energy Audit Cost?

Average range: $145 - $420
Low
$100
Average Cost
$250
High
$1,300
(a standard energy audit on a 1,200 square foot home with a blower test included)

Get free estimates from energy efficiency consultants near you
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How Much Does an Energy Audit Cost?

Average range: $145 - $420
Low
$100
Average Cost
$250
High
$1,300
(a standard energy audit on a 1,200 square foot home with a blower test included)

Get free estimates from energy efficiency consultants near you
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As people continue to seek out ways to reduce their carbon footprint, an energy audit remains an increasingly popular home service sought by many. These audits are generally performed by utility companies or third-party service and can help many homeowners save money on their utility costs, in addition to reducing their environmental impact.

The national average cost of an energy audit is between $145 and $420, with most people paying around $250 for a standard energy audit on a 1,200 sq.ft. home, including a blower test. At the low end of the spectrum is a basic energy audit on an 800 sq.ft. home for $100, and at the high end is a level-3 energy audit on a 2,600 sq.ft. home using advanced tools and methods for $1,300.

Home Energy Assessment Cost

Energy Audit Costs
National average cost$250
Average range$145 - $420
Minimum cost$100
Maximum cost$1,300


Updated: What's new?

Energy Audit Cost by Project Range

Low
$100
Basic energy audit on an 800 sq.ft. home
Average Cost
$250
A standard energy audit on a 1,200 square foot home with a blower test included
High
$1,300
Level 3 energy audit on a 2,600 square foot home with extensive auditing and testing

What is an Energy Audit?

An energy audit is designed to find any potential energy losses and possible solutions for those losses in order to reduce your energy bills and improve your home’s efficiency. This may also be called an energy assessment or study, but the process is the same. This audit gives homeowners the full picture of their house and its deficiencies and offers professional advice from the auditor on how to improve efficiency. The end result will be a savings of between 5% and 30% on your annual energy costs if you make all of the suggested changes.


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Energy Audit Costs Per Square Foot

Like many whole-home services, energy audits are sometimes priced by the square foot, since more area means more work. Some audits will have various pricing tiers for home-size ranges, while others will actually charge a dollar amount per square foot to get an exact cost for each separate home. For square footage pricing, the national average ranges from $0.12 to $0.35 per sq. ft. In the table below are the most common home sizes in the U.S. and their corresponding average cost range:


Energy audit costs per square foot

Energy audit costs per square foot


Home sizeCost
1,200 square feet$145–$420
1,500 square feet$180–$525
2,000 square feet$240–$700
2,600 square feet$312–$910


Energy Audit Cost by Type

There are different levels, or types, of energy audits that can be performed. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, has designated three levels of audits to ensure all auditors follow the same procedure. In the table below, are the national average costs for each type of inspection. Below the table, is a more detailed explanation of what each audit includes:


Energy audit cost by type Energy audit cost by type


Level of auditExtent of inspectionAverage cost
ASHRAE Level 1Basic$0.08–$0.12/sq.ft.
ASHRAE Level 2Moderate$0.12–$0.35/sq.ft.
ASHRAE Level 3Extensive$0.36–$0.50/sq.ft.


ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Audit Cost

A Level 1 audit is also called a walk-through. Reporting and use of testing tools are limited as the auditor walks through a building to evaluate energy efficiency. These types of audits are usually only recommended for small buildings with low overall energy usage. Utility bills and interviews with property owners are included with this type of audit. The typical cost is $0.08 to $0.12 per square foot.

ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audit

Level 2 energy audits require more analysis and reporting procedures. Equipment pieces are inventoried, with energy usage for each piece evaluated. Improvement costs are projected with a savings analysis of each measure documented. The auditor will look for the highest potential for energy savings and create long-term energy savings goals. This type of audit is most often recommended for larger buildings. A Level 2 audit will also include Level 1 procedures. Expect to spend $0.12 to $0.35 per square foot.

ASHRAE Level 3 Energy Audit

Level 3 audits are rarely done on residences. These audits are usually reserved for large and complex commercial buildings. A Level 3 audit will have all of the components of a Level 1 and Level 2 audit as well as a detailed analysis performed by the technician. Comprehensive surveys are performed along with hourly HVAC monitoring and analysis. Existing utility bills are reviewed, with sub-metering done by the company. You will pay about $0.36 to $0.50 per square foot.

Energy Audit Cost

In terms of labor, the costs are typically included in the total price of your energy audit, which can range from $0.12 to $0.35 per sq.ft. The audit process takes about 2 to 3 hours, on average, with more extensive audits lasting up to 4 hours or more. Note that it will sometimes take a couple of weeks to schedule one, so you may want to plan ahead if you are trying to meet a deadline for a rebate or incentive program.

Its cost includes the entire testing process and will depend on the level of audit you have chosen, as discussed elsewhere in this guide. The auditor will need to access the exterior, attic, and basement (if present), any crawl spaces, and all exterior walls and windows. They may also want to inspect your HVAC system or other major systems for inefficiencies.

An audit will include the assessment of your home, as well as a review of your annual energy bills and comparable data from similar homes. This will help them come up with a list of potential improvements, problem areas, and recommendations for energy improvements that you can make. In addition to the verbal recommendations from the auditor, you will typically get a detailed report about 7 to 10 days after the audit, which you can retain for your records and submit for improvement or rebate programs.


Professional auditor performing an energy audit and writing down the recommendations


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Energy Audit Procedure

During the process of the energy audit, there are several things that will be done that may incur charges. Of course, many of these are lumped into the flat rate or square-footage rate being charged for the audit in the first place. In order to get an accurate picture of your home’s energy usage, an auditor will inspect the elements detailed below. Bear in mind that, regardless of the extent of the work done, your audit should not cost more than 10% of your annual energy bill.

Utility Bill Examination

All of your utility bills from the past year can be analyzed by your auditor to determine if you're paying too much to heat or cool your home. This is typically done by comparing your utility costs to the average costs paid by homeowners in your area. An interview is also conducted to determine areas of concern.

Room-by-Room Examination

Auditors should typically walk through each room of your home and conduct a thorough visual inspection of the windows, appliances, and, if possible, the insulation. The exterior of the building is also assessed to help the auditor find any issues such as damage to the roof, eaves, or windows.

Blower Door Test Cost

Blower door tests are designed to check the airtightness of your home and identify any leaks. They manipulate air pressure indoors, drawing air through unsealed cracks and openings. This is done by mounting a large fan onto your home's front door. A blower door test is normally included in the cost of a standard energy audit.

Duct Testing Cost

This test is performed to check for air leaks and energy efficiency in the ducts throughout the home. Special tools are used to manipulate air pressure while the system is running to identify leaks, inconsistencies, and other duct issues. This process is not always included, but it is a critical step in making sure the HVAC system is as energy-efficient as possible. If not included, duct testing costs range from $50 to $200, with cheaper rates when included as part of an energy audit.

Infrared Imaging

Infrared imaging equipment is used to show where heat is escaping and cold air is entering. Repairing problem areas identified through infrared imaging can lead to savings of up to 20% in heating costs. This is not typically included in a standard energy or heating audit and will incur an additional cost if it is desired. When it isn’t included in the costs, IR imaging will typically add about 50% to your audit, with a national average of around $200 for a limited moisture scan.

HERS Test Cost

A HERS test, or Home Energy Rating System test, is a procedure that was devised by the California Energy Commission. This test was designed to verify energy efficiency and indoor air quality as it relates to the installation of HVAC equipment. However, it can also be used in an energy audit to satisfy state requirements or identify other potential problem areas. The average HERS rating cost is $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the size of the home and extent of testing done.

Energy Efficiency Solutions

Once the energy audit has been completed, you will need to discuss the suggestions and concerns of the auditor. Ask questions and get as many explanations as you can so you can give your home the improvements it needs. Establish what your priorities are and resolve small issues promptly. The following table will show you various energy improvements that you can make, along with their average costs. And below that, each fix is discussed in detail.


Energy efficiency solutions

Energy efficiency solutions


ServiceCost
Energy Star appliances$100–$4,000
Weatherstripping$168–$250
Smart thermostat installation$300
Storm window installation$350
Home air sealing$350–$600
Window replacement$650–$1,500
Attic insulation$1,700–$2,000


Installing Energy Star Certified Appliances

The biggest impact on your home’s energy savings is evaluating the need for new appliances. Replacing old and inefficient equipment and appliances with Energy Star certified products will give you up to 30% in energy savings. And these appliances typically only cost about 5% to 10% more than nonrated appliances. You may spend as little as $100 for a new energy-efficient microwave or more than $4,000 for an Energy Star certified top-of-the-line fridge, so costs vary significantly.

Weather-Stripping Cost

Weather stripping may be done as a part of a comprehensive air sealing process or on its own. The process involves adding an extra layer of insulation made specifically for sealing cracks and leaks to all of the doors and windows. These are common places where energy inefficiency is high, because weather stripping can wear down over time and require replacement. Typically, weather stripping alone will cost an average of $168 to $250, depending on the extent of the work.

Smart Thermostat Installation Cost

Adjusting equipment settings, adding timers, and installing thermostat controls can result in savings of 50%. They allow you to set the temperature from a mobile device and to preset times for heating and cooling periods. As an example, if the home is unoccupied during the day, you can set the air conditioner to 78°F and then schedule a more comfortable temperature before you arrive home. Installing a smart thermostat costs around $300, according to the national average.

Storm Window Installation Cost

Adding storm windows can further increase your energy efficiency of your home by as much as 33%. Storm windows add an extra barrier to the windows in your home that can accommodate them and are specifically designed to help mitigate energy loss and improve comfort. They typically cost about $350 per window, on average.

Home Air Sealing Cost

Air sealing your home is the best way to improve energy efficiency. In this process, a technician will inspect the entire home and identify any cracks, leaks, or other places where air might be leaking. The savings can be as much as $150 per year, and the process, on average, costs about $350 to $600.

Many homeowners worry that after air-sealing, their house might be too "tight" to breathe. This concern is based on the old misconception that some drafts and air leaks are necessary for a home to have healthy ventilation. In reality, there's nothing to worry about when your home is tightly sealed. An efficient home is tightly sealed but also has controlled ventilation installations. Relying on air leaks to provide your home's ventilation runs the risk of long-term damage as well as uncontrolled energy waste.

Windows Replacement Cost

In the event of serious leaks or efficiency losses, new windows might be in order. While installing new windows may involve a variety of costs, it will significantly improve the efficiency of your home. Typically, window replacement costs an average of $650 to $1,500 per window for standard single-pane double-hung windows without the addition of storm windows.

Attic Insulation Cost

Insulating the attic is a sure way to save energy. After all, heat rises, and much of the loss in the home goes right out the roof. With proper attic insulation, you can save up to 25% or more on your energy costs. Replacing insulation also increases the home’s value. Costs will vary by the size of your attic, with an average in the range of $1,700 to $2,000.


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Energy Efficiency Problems

There are several common issues, small and large, around the home that can impact energy efficiency. These issues are all too common for many homeowners. Often, these problems are identified in an energy audit, and most are fairly simple to resolve. Below is a list of the most common issues and how they are resolved, along with costs provided where available:


Energy Efficiency Problems

Energy Efficiency Problems


ProblemCost to fix it
Inefficient lighting$50–$8,500
Inefficient appliances$100–$2,000
Air leaks$350–$600
Inadequate insulation$3,500–$4,500


Inefficient Lighting

Having old bulbs, light fixtures, and wiring can be a major source of energy consumption in a home. Incandescent light bulbs were most often used by homeowners before the 2000s. Incandescent light bulbs use almost five times the amount of energy as LEDs. Rewiring may be needed if the home is older than 40 years. Older electrical systems were not designed for energy efficiency. Older 100 amp electrical panels may also need replacement with 200 amp models. Replacing the lighting in your home could be as cheap the cost of a few bulbs.Many people need to spend only $50 to $100 on LED and energy-efficient lighting upgrades, including simple bulb or fixture replacement. If you need more than new bulbs, it could cost as much as $8,500 to rewire the entire home or $2,500 to replace the electrical panel.

Inefficient Appliances

Equipment that is old, has a low energy rating, or just isn't right for your home type or climate can consume far more energy than necessary. Energy Star ratings were created to help consumers avoid choosing appliances that aren’t energy-efficient. These ratings are especially important when buying clothes dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and water heaters. These appliances draw the most energy compared to other household appliances. Replacement costs vary, and, depending on the exact model and style chosen, you may spend as little as $100 on a new energy-efficient microwave or more than $4,000 for an Energy Star certified top-of-the-line fridge. On average, homeowners spend about $1,500 to $2,000 on replacing appliances for energy improvements.

Home Air Leaks

It's estimated that the average homeowner wastes as much as $350 in utility costs due to air leaks. Air leakage occurs when the air leaves the home through cracks and holes. Caulking and weather stripping can be added or upgraded to seal any openings and reduce the number of air leaks. The average cost to seal air leaks ranges from $350 to $600.

Inadequate Insulation

Most homes lack enough insulation to keep them energy efficient. It's not uncommon for an auditor to discover that a home is completely missing insulation in certain sections. Insulation is rated in terms of R-values. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating effect the material provides. Popular insulation types include fiberglass, wool, cellulose, polystyrene, spray foam, and cotton. If the material currently installed is damaged, missing in areas, or doesn’t have a high R-value, new insulation is likely needed. Insulation costs range from $0.12 to almost $7 per square foot, depending on the type of insulation you choose. The national average for a whole-home insulation project is between $3,500 and $4,500.

Prep Work for an Energy Audit

You will need to do some minimal preparation before your energy auditor arrives for the inspection. Windows and doors should be closed and latched securely. If any windows or doors are broken, point these out to the auditor ahead of time.

Any belongings you have that are blocking access to the attic, basements, and crawl spaces must be cleared out. Nothing should be blocking appliances, since the auditor will need easy access to furnaces, boilers, and water heaters.

Make a list of any energy problems you've noticed in the summer and winter, such as drafts or excessively high energy usage. Have copies of your yearly energy bills on hand so that they are ready to be examined by the auditor, who will typically want to see the past 12 months’ bills.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

PFT Air Infiltration Measurement Technique

The PFT is a long-term test designed to measure the airtightness of your home and is often recommended as a supplementary upgrade to the blower door test. Your auditor will install an emitter and receiver inside your house. This equipment will emit a trace of 100% safe, non-toxic gas and then later absorb it to measure how much of the gas leaked out of your home over time. This test can give a more advanced assessment of your home's airtightness, as well as any air pollutants. PFTs are typically only included in extensive audit packages, which can cost more than three times as much as an average audit.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Finding an auditor. You shouldn't assume that every advertised service meets professional standards. In fact, many don't. Before choosing an auditor, verify that they are certified by the Building Performance Institute. You can use the BPI's online search tool to check whether or not an auditor is BPI certified.
  • Rebates. Check with your local authorities if you are eligible for discounted or free home energy audits. These audits may not include all of the inspection tasks that standard audits do, such as blower door tests or infrared imaging. Many regional governments and organizations offer rebates on upgrades made after an audit, which can add up to as much as $5,000 for gas-heated homes, and $8,000 for electrically heated homes. There are separate rebates for different upgrades. Maximums may apply. Your energy provider may be able to provide you with a loan of as much as $30,000 to cover energy efficiency upgrades.
  • DIY. You can perform a DIY energy audit. First, grab your last 12 months of utility bills and enter some basic information about your house into the ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick tool. It will compare your home's energy efficiency to that of other homes like yours. This online tool also provides suggestions for improvements you can make.
  • Travel fees. If you live outside of your chosen auditor's service area, you'll likely be charged a travel fee. Travel fees are completely dependent on the current price of gas, the specific distance between your home and the service area, and the auditor's discretion.
  • Commercial vs residential audits. Compared to residential audits, most commercial energy audits involve an in-depth look at energy processes. Commercial ones normally look not only at the building as a whole but also focus on the places where the business owner is losing the most money due to wasted energy. Commercial audits rely on the ASHRAE scale, with the majority of buildings needing a Level 2 audit.
  • Energy rating vs energy audit. An energy rating and energy audit are not the same thing. An energy rating determines how efficient your home is compared to similar properties. The rating is provided through the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) scoring index. Energy ratings are used to project utility costs and are most often provided for real estate purposes. Audits pinpoint how a home is wasting energy and offer strategies on how to fix the issues.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to get an energy audit?

An energy audit typically costs around $250 for a standard audit with a blower test on a 1,200 square foot home. There are some companies that will perform audits free of charge if you purchase their product.

  • How do I get an energy audit?

To get an energy audit, you will simply need to contact a third-party auditor. If you aren’t sure who to call, feel free to contact your utility company. They should be able to connect you to the right resources. Some utility companies will even perform the audits for you.

  • What is an energy audit checklist?

The energy audit checklist includes a list of all items that need to be verified for efficiency during the audit process. This will include things like checking windows and doors, ducts, appliances, and attics or crawl spaces. Depending on the level of audit, it may be more or less extensive.

  • What is the purpose of an energy audit?

An energy audit identifies inefficiencies in the home so that they can be fixed. These inefficiencies result in energy loss and cost homeowners a lot of money each year. An audit can result in saving as much as 35% or more on utility costs.

  • What is an energy survey?

An energy survey reviews how energy is being used in a building. This can be simple or extensive and may be available in three types: investment, detailed, or walk-through.

  • What is air sealing?

Air sealing closes the gaps around windows, doors and stops other air leaks to help prevent energy loss and help homeowners save money.

  • What is an electrical energy audit?

An electrical energy audit is an examination of your home with a specific focus on the electrical system and its components in order to find out why you may be losing energy.

Cost to do an energy audit varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Updated:
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Professional auditor conducts an energy audit to identify energy efficiency problems of a house
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Cost to do an energy audit varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.