News Release: Home Energy Squad now offering free Virtual Home Energy Visits
May 11, 2020
Empowering Minnesotans to save while staying safe and healthy at home
As people in Minnesota continue to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a new option to help residential customers become more energy efficient and save on their energy bills. Home Energy Squad now offers virtual home energy visits, a cost-free service that complies with health and safety guidelines introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Through the new online-only visits, Home Energy Squad continues to help energy customers identify their most cost-effective opportunities for energy savings, combined with advice and planning for future projects to save even more when the time is right. In Minnesota, Home Energy Squad is provided by CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy, supported by participating cities, and delivered by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE).
“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, 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, 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 personal 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 next 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.
To participate in this program, you must be a CenterPoint Energy customer and/or Xcel 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 https://www.mncee.org/solutions/homes/home-energy-squad-enhanced/.
Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency stretching back 40 years. Working in homes, businesses, and communities, CEE discovers and deploys the most effective energy solutions to strengthen the economy and improve the environment. Learn more at mncee.org.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy is Minnesota’s largest natural gas utility, serving more than 860,000 residential and business customers in 260 communities. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with regulated utility businesses in eight states and a competitive energy businesses footprint in more than 30 states. CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.
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Home Energy Squad Program Information
Blog: Free virtual home energy visits, new from Home Energy Squad (April 2020)