Free home energy audit and repairs – no trick, I promise!

I told my wife it was a scam when she first told me that a local electricity provider would pay for a company to come to our home, audit our energy use, seal HVAC connections points throughout the house to prevent air loss, weatherstrip doors, install foam insulators behind light switches and plugs, and seal plumbing penetrations beneath the sinks — all at no cost to us. All of that sounded like a lot of work (work that needed to be done, but work nonetheless), so why would anyone do that for free?

But she scheduled the company, E3 Solutions, to stop by the house anyway after a friend’s recommendation, and after about three hours of testing and sealing and fixing, the friendly four-man crew packed up and left — all without asking for any money from us whatsoever.

There’s lots more, after the jump…

There are a couple of catches to the deal: Your house must have been built prior to 2002, and you must be in a "qualifying service delivery area" paying your electricity bill to TXU, Stream, Gexa, Green Mountain, Reliant or any of a host of others selling electric service in the Dallas area. And you must be able to give the company access to attic ducts — if all of your air ducts are in the floor, they can’t help. There are some other potential exclusions, too, but the company generally needs to stop by your house to check it out before making a decision — but it’s all done right there at the same time, no rescheduling or coming back later.

Again, I was skeptical, but no money changed hands, and a bunch of work that I could have done myself but probably never would have was completed. And now our air-handling system and most of the other obvious energy issues in the house should be leak-free. After experiencing the process first-hand, I don’t see a downside. The guy did mention that from time to time, if a house doesn’t have enough attic insulation, the company will offer to blow some in at a "heavily discounted" price, but there’s no obligation to do so (for what it’s worth, they didn’t try to sell us any insulation, either). And although the explanation was a little vague, it sounds like the "local electricity provider" has an annual budget to pay for this work, and when the budget’s gone, the gravy train is over.

If you’re interested, visit the Take A Load Off Texas website, send an email to mrnewnham80@yahoo.com or call 214-995-9581. When the crew finished at our house, they drove down the street to a neighbor’s (they couldn’t help there because of the home’s HVAC layout), then returned to work on our neighbor’s house next door.


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  • blaze818

    I dont know why everyone is saying that this is such a great company?! I guess that it may seems like they are at first but the real fun started after my “free” home energy audit was finished.

    I must say, my technician Daniel, was great. He went through everything he was doing and explained it to me with great in depth knowledge. The problem was a day later when the owner of the company called me and said he “needed a check from me”…really these words were said in the first few sentences of our conversation! I was extremely confused since this is called a free energy audit for a reason. I was told that his technician was in such a hurry that he forgot to get a check from me. I dont know about you but when I go somewhere to do work I usually dont forget the most important part…the check!! After about 4 minutes on the phone with David he started to call me a thief, and couldnt stop talking about how easy it will be for me to live with myself since I have such a long history of being a thief. Extremely unprofessional either way.

    I have been over their website many times since my phone call with David to see if there was something that I could have missed, but everything still looks free on their site. I went over all of the paperwork that Daniel the tech gave me when he was finished caulking cracks and installing some door weather stripping and still no talk about me having to pay anything. So I guess buyer beware, I hope you have a better experience than I did

  • NoMcMansions

    They just did it here, showed up when they said, were efficient, sealed everything up and were out in less than 2 hours. And it’s paid for by one of your “energy efficiency surcharges” on your bill already, so might as well do it if you qualify. Me, I have a split level with vents on floors and ceilings, and the air feeding through the middle, so it was really easy for them to access the connection points.

  • TTa

    What Kerry Smith says is true…however, if yours are a mix of ceiling and wall (at least half need to be ceiling), they can still do the audit.
    Just had my house done, we’ll see what kind of difference it makes. They said the leakage was 20% (seems really high!), and they reduced it to 5%. Only time and my energy bills will tell, i guess. my bills weren’t all that high, maybe this will further cut them.

  • Kerry Smith

    I finally talked to someone at E3 Solutions, after email, phone call message, web entry, and they got back to me saying that if my vents are in my ceiling they can do it, but since they are on the walls (as they are in most Lake Highlands homes) they cannot do it.

  • lh_newbie

    While we didn’t have this service, I’m a rather energy conscious (read: cheap) person. We have a home built in 1976 and we upped our attic insulation to 14-15″ total + replaced a couple can lights with new, IC-rated cans (are allowed to contact insulation – the old type cannot or it’s a fire hazard). The insulation update alone decreased our heating bills by 30%. We also replaced our air conditioner. The combination of new A/C unit + insulation has decresed our cooling bills by 50% (they sealed our duct work in the process).

  • none

    We had this done last year. It’s well worth it.

  • Jake

    I too had this done at my place, probably right before Greg, and received a similar report. Though they could have told me my flux capacitor was replaced and I would have believed them. None the less they caulked some stuff, taped others, and put foam behind each outlet and light switch. Also they mentioned that we do pay some $.90 a month for this service on our bill. The service is thanks in large part to some legislative footwork when electricity was de-regulated in TX. Anyway I can report similar findings to the blog posting. It’s worthwhile.

  • Greg

    I called early this morning and they had just received a cancellation this morning so they came over at 11am and just now left. They showed me the reading from the pressure test before and then after and they improved it 20%. They were here less than two hours. And Matt told me that they are paid by Oncor as well. Thanks Rick!

  • Rick Wamre

    Jason, thanks for the email address update ‘ I corrected it in the story. And although the “paid by Oncor” connection was hinted at, we could not get that confirmed for purposes of the story.

  • jason

    I just talked to Matt, he said they get paid by Oncor. I tried to email him first and the email above bounced back – the correct email address is mrnewnham80@yahoo.com<br><br>

  • Kristy

    so how do these people get paid?