You may have seen solar PV panels on a neighbour's roof or even a small wind turbine on local land. Someone in your street may already be using ground-source heat, and you may be using biomass already in the form of sustainable wood briquettes for a stove.
So how does an energy audit benefit your home and allow you to benefit from renewables?
Firstly, it helps you to save energy and make better use of it. The audit will tell you how much energy is being used in your home and highlight any wastage spots. It will also give you tips on how to reduce your energy usage to cut carbon emissions and energy bills alike. Recommendations such as better insulation may be included, as well as green energy tariffs or direct investment in micro-renewable technologies to power your home.
The audit will help you to see exactly how your energy usage stacks up against other typical homes of the same size and type. This is useful for comparison purposes and can provide motivation if it turns out that you are using more than comparable properties and family sizes. The audit will use digital information that accurately reads your meter and appliances that use electricity or gas.
Another benefit is that the audit will flag up ways to make your home more comfortable. These might include measures to boost the efficiency of your heating and/or cooling system and to fill in leaks or gaps which are compromising its effectiveness.
Remember too that an energy-efficient home will always be more valuable than one which is inefficient. This is because the running costs will be less and many consumers want to be 'greener' and less wasteful in their lives.