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Energy Fixer: New Series

Follow along this year as we track the energy makeover of a 1960s house

If you have an older house, it’s easy to see cosmetic changes you may want to make, like new kitchen counters. But what about energy upgrades? How do you identify and prioritize projects to improve home comfort and control energy bills?

To help you out, we’re launching Energy Fixer, a series that follows an actual energy makeover.

The house: 55-year-old ranch needs updating

Sarah, a PGE employee and mother of two, recently purchased a 1,500 square-foot, all-electric ranch house built in 1960 that retained much of its original style — along with many outdated energy features. We’ll check in throughout 2015 as she works to shape up her new home and get it energy fit. We’ll also share ideas that you can use to shape up your home.

Where to start?

A pre-purchase home inspection identified several issues for Sarah to consider, including insulation, windows, heating and water heating. But like most homeowners, she needs to make choices that fit her budget. So this month is all about research.

Sarah is investigating resources that can help her get started, including:

What about your home?

If you’re buying an older home or you’ve been in your home awhile, does it need energy-efficiency upgrades? Follow along with the Energy Fixer series this year as Sarah tackles a variety of energy-efficiency issues and upgrades. We’ll discuss costs for upgrades, estimated savings, incentives and more.

Below are some of the best places to check for opportunities to improve energy savings and home comfort. Energy Trust of Oregon offers incentives for many of these upgrades.

  • Home envelope, including insulation, weatherization, windows and doors.
  • Heating/cooling systems
  • Thermostat
  • Refrigerator
  • Clothes washer
  • Water heating
  • Lighting