Frequently asked questions: Home energy assessments

See below for answers to common questions about home energy assessments. If you have additional questions, please contact us

What is a home energy assessment?

A home energy assessment is a free, walk-through assessment performed by an energySMART Energy Advisor. The Energy Advisor will collect information about your home’s energy use by looking at your heating system (e.g. furnace or boiler), cooling system (air conditioner), water heater and attic (if accessible) to identify the ways you use energy in your home. Using this information, your Energy Advisor will provide a customized report with recommendations identifying additional ways you can save energy and money. As part of the energy assessment, the Energy Advisor may install new showerheads, faucet aerators for your bathrooms and kitchen, hot water pipe insulation, and a programmable thermostat. The Energy Advisor will also set your thermostat and set back your water heater temperature. All of these improvements are free, and you may decline the installation of any or all of these products or services. Smart thermostats are also available at a discounted rate. Additional eligibility requirements may apply for all products.

Customers of Nicor Gas and ComEd – if you are also a ComEd customer, the Energy Advisor may install ENERGY STAR® certified CFLs and smart power strips for free. ENERGY STAR certified LEDs are also available for purchase at a discount and include free installation.

How do I participate?

Call 877.886.4239 to schedule your free home energy assessment. Assessments are available Monday through Friday, 9a.m. to 5p.m. with limited appointments made available outside of that timeframe. Customers are limited to one energy assessment per home during the offering period (June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017).

Who will perform the assessment?

An energySMART Energy Advisor will perform the assessment. Your Energy Advisor will have a badge to identify him or herself.

How long is the assessment?

An assessment typically takes 60 to 90 minutes, but may vary depending on the size of your home.

Do I need to be present during the assessment?

An adult over the age of 18 will need to be present to answer questions about your home as your Energy Advisor performs the assessment.

What are the benefits of a home assessment?

A home assessment is a great way to find energy-saving opportunities in your home. In addition to the installation of free and discounted energy-saving products, you’ll also learn about other ways to save, including more information on rebates that are offered by energySMART.

What if I do not want some of the products that are offered?

Your energySMART Energy Advisor will only install products that you wish to be installed. You have the option to decline any of the free products offered to you.

Is this an energy audit?

No, the home energy assessment is a free walk-through assessment which identifies your home’s energy usage and includes the installation of free, energy-saving products. An energy audit typically includes more comprehensive home analytics and diagnostic testing including thermal imaging, blower door testing and combustion safety testing. An energy audit may cost between $100 and $500 or more depending on the extent of the audit.

I am a renter, can I receive an assessment?

Yes, you are eligible for an assessment, but you must obtain the property owner’s permission beforehand. Renters must have the property owner’s written approval, including their contact information and which free energy-saving products have been approved for installation. A hand-written notice is acceptable.

Why is Nicor Gas offering this free program?

Nicor Gas is committed to providing its customers with helpful solutions to conserve energy and save money.

I participate in the Nicor Gas Customer Select program, am I still eligible for a home energy assessment?

Yes, if you participate in the Customer Select program and receive your gas bill from Nicor Gas you are eligible for a home energy assessment.

Am I required to move forward with other energy efficiency projects after my assessment is complete?

No, there is no obligation to complete any of the recommendations provided during the home energy assessment.

Do I need an assessment to qualify for rebates?

An assessment is not required to participate in the energySMART home rebate offerings. Nicor Gas encourages all residential customers to take advantage of the home energy assessment offering at any time along their path to energy efficiency.

If you are interested in moving forward with the energy efficiency recommendations in your customized energy report, check out our rebates for your home to get started.

Should I get a programmable or a smart thermostat?

Please refer to this document to understand the differences between the two energy-saving thermostat options available during your home energy assessment.

Why is the ecobee3 the only smart thermostat offered for installation during a home energy assessment?

Nicor Gas and ComEd researched the available smart thermostats in order to offer a product that will provide our customers with energy savings and comfort. In evaluating the smart thermostats, we took into consideration our customers’ needs, the climate and housing stock of our region and the potential energy savings that our customers may achieve. Through our research we found that the ecobee3 smart thermostat is a great product for our customers participating in the home energy assessment and we are happy to offer it to you at a discounted price of only $150. If you are interested, your trained Energy Advisor will install the new thermostat for free during your assessment.

If you are interested in purchasing other smart thermostat brands, visit nicorgasrebates.com/your-home to learn more about our smart thermostat rebates.

Am I eligible for a smart thermostat during my home energy assessment?

Recipients must be a Nicor Gas customer to receive the ecobee3 smart thermostat installation through the assessment. In addition, you must also have a natural gas forced air heating system (furnace) and a central air conditioner. Nicor Gas customers participating in the Customer Select program and ComEd customers participating in the Customer Choice program are also eligible. 

Is there anything I need to do before you arrive to prepare for the smart thermostat installation?

  • Make sure your furnace and central air conditioner are accessible so that the Energy Advisor can properly install the ecobee3 smart thermostat.
  • Because the ecobee3 smart thermostat has the ability to connect to a smartphone or computer, please make sure to have your Wi-Fi connection and password available during your assessment.
  • In order to complete the purchase of your discounted smart thermostat for $150, you will need a credit card or a debit card with a major credit card symbol.

Do I have to pay for the home energy assessment?

No. The home energy assessment is offered at no cost to you by Nicor Gas and ComEd. However, if you are eligible, you may purchase smart thermostats or LEDs at a discount during your assessment. LEDs are only available to customers of ComEd.