Asked Questions about signing up for the
Alameda County Home Energy Analyzer
Questions About Who Can Participate
Questions About the Home Energy Analyzer
Questions About Who Pays
Answers to Questions about who can participate
Who can participate in Alameda County's Home Energy
All Alameda County residents who have both
PG&E electric and gas service can participate. To be
eligible, you must:
Unfortunately, we cannot provide the service for customers
of Alameda Municipal Power.
- Have lived in your home for at least 12 months,
- Have a PG&E electric and gas SmartMeters installed and
- Not have solar PV system installed,
- Agree to allow Home Energy Analyzer access your PG&E
bill energy data from 12 months before to 12 months after
you sign up.
How do I sign up?
The first step is to locate or create your
free PG&E online account. See instructions on the PG&E website
, or call us for help at
I'm not comfortable using a computer or I'm not comfortable
using a web-based application. Can I still participate?
The Home Energy Analyzer is designed to
provide data that can only be accessed online, so we strongly
encourage you to use the online system. We will be happy to
provide support. Call us at 510-891-6554.
Answers to Questions about the Home Energy Analyzer
Is Home Energy Analyzer different from PG&E's My Energy?
Yes, Home Energy Analyzer is a different
service. Home Energy Analyzer uses the data from your PG&E
My Energy Account to do a diagnostic analysis of your home's
energy use, and provides custom recommendations for you on the
best ways to reduce your energy waste.
How do you decide which energy-saving solution is right for my
We use your Home Energy Profile to help
decide which solutions are best. Your Home Energy Profile is
created from PG&E utility bill information and some simple
questions about your home. In some cases the solution is
obvious: if more than 50% of your yearly energy use is for
heating and cooling, your home will probably benefit from
upgrading your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)
equipment, insulation, or windows. In that case, a Home Upgrade
Advisor will contact you with information on the statewide
Energy Upgrade California
program. However, other homes in
Alameda County may be using more energy in the base load,
variable load, or pool categories, in which case we will provide
you with recommendations and savings information specific to
these areas. If you have higher than average base load usage, a
program adviser may follow up by phone to provide you with
specific energy-saving solutions for your home.
What happens when I sign up for the Home Energy Analyzer?
Unlike other assessments, where energy
experts come to your house and investigate, most interactions
for this analysis will occur online, at a secure website managed
by Home Energy
- The Home Energy Analyzer collects your energy use data
from PG&E and then asks you to provide basic information
about your home, such as size, age, number of occupants,
thermostat settings, etc.
- The Home Energy Analyzer performs an analysis to segment
energy use into different categories (seasonal, base loads,
variable loads, etc.), compare your energy usage to that of
similar homes, and provide simple recommendations for
reducing your energy use.
- You select the energy-saving recommendations you will
implement — and implement them!
- Based on your energy usage profile, a program advisor may
contact you to offer further energy-saving solutions.
- You will receive monthly emails analyzing your energy
trends, enabling you to track how much energy you’re saving.
What kinds of recommendations will you make?
Your online energy-saving recommendations
will vary depending on your home and energy usage patterns.
Energy use varies considerably from home to home based on many
factors. A key benefit of this program is its ability to break
down your energy use into categories and provide a chart of the
different categories (also called a “Home Energy Profile”), so
you’ll know where your energy is being used. You can make
smarter decisions about how to conserve energy when you know
where your energy is going.
- Some residents may need help managing electric base loads,
so we will make recommendations like unplugging unused
electronics or using “smart” power strips — and we will give
you detailed instructions on how to do so.
- Some residents may need help managing electric variable
loads, so we will make recommendations like upgrading
lighting and electronic systems.
- Some homes may be identified as using an unusual amount of
energy for heating or cooling, and they will need further
analysis of their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
(HVAC) systems. If so, we will refer you to the statewide
Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade program and a
Home Upgrade Advisor may follow up with you.
- Some homes may have features like pools, spas, fountains,
or whole-house systems that can be made more efficient. We
will provide appropriate energy-saving solutions and
referrals for these systems.
I’ve heard about other energy efficiency assessments. How does
Home Energy Analyzer's online assessment differ from those?
There are many kinds of energy efficiency assessments
available and we know it can be confusing. Research shows that
an increasingly high proportion of residential energy use goes
toward base loads (appliances and electronic systems that are
drawing power all the time, even when they aren’t being used,
like TVs, set-top boxes, and hot water recirculation pumps).
Lots of energy also goes toward intermittent plug loads (e.g.,
refrigerators and pool pumps). The primary focus of a Home
Energy Analyzer assessment is to analyze energy use in these
categories and identify simple and cost-effective
opportunities to reduce this electric waste.
Other assessments you may have heard of focus primarily on
identifying opportunities to improve heating, ventilation, and
air conditioning (HVAC) systems, based on in-home inspections
and highly technical diagnostics like blower-door tests, duct
blasters, and thermal imaging. These assessments make sense if
a majority of the home’s energy goes toward heating and
cooling, or if you have significant comfort issues in your
home. If our software finds that your home is a good candidate
for this type of advanced audit, we will refer you to the
statewide Energy Upgrade California program.
Will someone come to my house?
Not necessarily. Unlike other audits where
energy efficiency experts need to explore your house from
crawlspace to attic, most interactions for this audit will occur
online at a secure website managed by HEA.com
. You may
also hear from a Home Energy Advisor from Energy Upgrade
California by phone or email to provide you with additional
energy-saving solutions, who can come to your house, with your
permission, to give you specific advice. Ultimately, our goal is
to help you save energy and money through easy and inexpensive
actions that you can take on your own.
How much time does the online audit take?
Depending on the complexity of your home,
the online assessment may take anywhere from 15 minutes to an
hour. You will learn as you go, and there is no need to answer
all questions in one sitting. Through the assessment, you will
be provided with a prioritized list of recommendations based
on your energy usage breakdown. Of course, it will also take
some time for you to perform these energy-saving actions. Many
of these actions can be completed in just a few minutes, but
others may take more time, such as purchasing and installing a
device. A program advisor will be available to answer
questions, provide further information on more complicated
recommendations, and offer additional energy-saving solutions.
If you ever have questions regarding your Home Energy Profile
or implementing your recommendations, you can contact info@HomeEnergyAnalyzer.org
After you finish your assessment you will receive monthly
emails that help you track your energy use and savings.
Will my data be safe? Who else will see my information?
Your data will be held in strict confidence
on a secure server and will only be used to help you reduce
your energy use. Only those directly involved in the
assessment process will have access to your answers. The
PG&E login information you've provided does not give Home
Energy Analyzer access to your bill payment information, so
even if you have registered a bank or credit card with
PG&E for automatic payments, we have no access to it.
Because this is a pilot program, StopWaste (Alameda
County’s Waste Management Agency, the program implementer)
will receive summarized results at various stages. However,
all personally-identifiable information (name, address,
etc.) will be kept confidential.
What do I need to do to prepare to use the Home Energy
Nothing! Once you’ve enrolled in the
program you will receive an email with a link to your Home
Energy Analyzer account where you will enter the information
What happens if I need help?
You can get help from a program staff
member by phone at 510-891-6554 OR by email at info@HomeEnergyAnalyzer.org
How much does an assessment cost?
Home Energy Analyzer is free to Alameda
County residents with both PG&E gas and electric service.
Will I have to pay for anything?
No. You won’t have to pay for the
assessment, but you may choose to pay for costs associated
with recommended energy-saving actions that you decide to
undertake, such as buying a smart power strip to manage your
entertainment center or computer and peripherals, or paying
for parts and labor to install a timer on your hot water
How is the program funded?
Administered by StopWaste
Home Energy Analyzer is funded primarily by a grant from
Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The online tool is powered
by Home Energy
supplies the software for the Home Energy Analyzer service;