Home Energy Squad now offers virtual home energy visits to help residential customers become more energy efficient and save on their energy bills.

The free service, which complies with health and safety guidelines introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, helps energy customers identify their most cost-effective opportunities for energy savings, combined with advice and planning for future projects.

Home Energy Squad is provided by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, supported by participating cities, and delivered by the Center for Energy and Environment.

“Xcel Energy’s first priority is keeping our employees and their families, our customers, and communities safe and healthy,” said Rob O’Connell, product portfolio manager for Xcel Energy. “Home Energy Squad virtual visits are a great way to help customers discover no- and low-cost energy-saving opportunities. With smart questions and conversation, we aim to get at the best ways to reduce each home’s energy usage. This new offering is the quickest way to get you started on energy savings that increase over time.”

The new virtual visit may combine well with a future in-person visit. During the online consultation, energy counselors may find that a home would benefit from energy-saving products that Home Energy Squad can install whenever in-home visits are possible again.

“Home Energy Squad has always committed to helping people make smart choices, so our homes use energy efficiently while keeping our families safe and healthy,” said Emma Ingebretsen, senior energy efficiency program administrator of CenterPoint Energy. “That commitment has never been more important, as we all strive to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.”

Customers complete a brief questionnaire to share their concerns and interests prior to the virtual visit, which typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour. The audio/video home walk-through is conducted with remote energy experts, resulting in a customized report complete with recommendations and follow-up steps. Participants also have access to cost-free post-visit telephone consultations with a qualified Energy Advisor.

“Whether we’re home working or learning, or just staying safe, our additional time inside can mean higher energy bills and a heightened awareness of indoor air quality,” said Rebecca Olson, CEE’s director of residential programs. “This is the perfect time to consider ways to make your home work better for you, talk through your options with energy professionals, and start planning for a more efficient, cost-conscious future.”

Customized for each home, the program’s benefits may include:

• Ongoing savings on utility bills,

• A healthier, safer, and more comfortable home,

• Personalized information and solutions, and

• Installation of energy-saving products.

Participants in this program must be an Xcel Energy and/or CenterPoint Energy customer in Minnesota. A smartphone or laptop with Internet access is required for the full experience, but a simplified virtual visit can be conducted via telephone if needed.

For more information visit mncee.org/solutions/homes/home-energy-squad-enhanced/.

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