This article was originally published in the May/June 1994 issue of Home Energy Magazine. Some formatting inconsistencies may be evident in older archive content.
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Home Energy Magazine Online May/June 1994
The Wisconsin Audit System
The State of Wisconsin Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) uses the WECC Energy Audit System, designed and developed by Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation for utility and government funded residential energy conservation programs. Like other computerized audit software programs, the WECC Audit helps auditors select a site-specific, cost-effective package of weatherization measures for each building. However, there is more to the WECC audit than the results of a computer run. It includes diagnostic and installation procedures for blower-door-guided air sealing, duct leakage and pressure balancing, and heating system measures.
The audit is integral to the state's entire weatherization program. For the last five years, auditors in Wisconsin have used the system to confirm their beliefs about what measures to install, to assess complicated competing measures (such as heating-system retrofits and replacements), and to judge measures that are on the border of cost-effectiveness. They use it to automatically generate a detailed work order and to weather-normalize fuel consumption records. Its companion database tracks building, client, estimated, and actual cost, and work-performed data. Wisconsin is preparing to use the database to evaluate the 1993 program.
Flexible and easily adapted to different programs, the system can be as simple or detailed as the user needs. It is user-friendly, completely menu-driven, and accurate.
The Audit System has increased the efficiency of Wisconsin's program. Its process has forced auditors to be more cognizant of the entire building structure and of how the building and mechanical systems operate. Along with increased training for auditors and installers, WECC has led to increased energy savings, compared to the previous priority list, resulting in better service and larger benefits for low-income people.
-- Linda O'Leary
Linda O'Leary is with Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation in Madison.
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