Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

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Mr. Rumples
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Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:43 am

I recently had a review of the insulation in my home. Its obviously poor in some places, non-existent in others which is not unusual for when the house was built. I'm going to do the project in stages starting with the attic where it has about a R8 currently. I will bring it up to the recommended R38 with additional insulation and sealing; I may install a radiant barrier also, but that is step two.

What I am trying to determine if is if its even cost effective. The current proposal is for $3800. I must be doing something wrong because when I use a calculator - link below - the savings are minimal. The cost per KWH where I live is $0.021086 for the first 800 KWH and thereafter $.011943. That's 2 and 1086 cents and 1 and 1943 cents respectively.

The calculator has a default, electric heat pump, to $0.12 which for a 1700 sf home in a 4500 heating degree day region, gives me an annual savings of $637.22; but when I change it to .021086, the savings is just $111.97 a year which doesn't really make it worth it financially.

(I have one bid from the company I most likely will go with, but do have appointments with two other vendors for comparison.)

To recap the variables: 1700 sf house, 4500 heating degree days, currently R8 increasing to R38.

https://cellulose.org/Cellulose-Insulat ... HomeOwners

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CAsage
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by CAsage » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:00 am

Your cost of electricity is amazing. When I google, nationally the cheapest is Louisiana at 9.5 cents/kwh, and the highest nationally is Hawaii of course at 29.5 cents. If you are really sure about your pricing, then consider the comfort in the house, or whether you can add insulation and skip air sealing if it's the labor cost driving up that bid. I got a bid to improve the insulation in my 1945-era house from bits of cellulose to R38 of about $2k, and I think that would be worth it just to run the heat less in winter.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

Uniballer
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by Uniballer » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:06 am

The electric rates you quoted seem stunningly low. Does that include service delivery charges as well as supply charges (in my area they are broken out separately, maybe even on different bills depending on supplier)?

Topic Author
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:22 am

Well, my apologies...

I spoke with three people at the power company yesterday and no one could help me; they just kept saying the 2cents mantra.

I then called the State Corporation Commission who had someone from the power company call me - just got off the phone with the rep. What they neglected to tell me was that in addition to the $0.021086 cost, there are "riders" on the charge, all prorated based on usage. Two cents per KWH for this, one cent per KWH for that...in short, 13 "riders." That's in addition to the distribution services. In the end my average cost is about $0.11 (11 cents per KWH).

Now the calculator makes more sense with a savings of about $584.12 per year which makes the project worthwhile. Thank y'all for your looking at this.

The link below is an example of one rider:

https://www.dominionenergy.com/library/ ... 0702203550

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Quirkz
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by Quirkz » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:22 am

$3400 for extra insulation? Is that manually installed? I realize prices may vary depending on region, but I had insulation blown into my attic for under $1000.

For the cost, I would definitely go by your actual electric bill, see how much you spend on heating, and use that for a reference instead of the quoted before-taxes rates.

In our case, subtracting the other normal use electric, in deep winter heating was costing us $350-$400 a month, with $100-$200 in late fall and early spring. Going from R19 to R49 (this was in Colorado) cut our heating bill by about a third, and paid for itself in less than two years.

I'm guessing you're in a warmer climate if you've been getting by with R8, so there's probably not as much to save, but that $3,400 price tag is a pretty steep obstacle to make up for.

ekid
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Location: central Indiana

Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by ekid » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:56 am

It may not make sense to go all the way to R-38 in attic before turning limited money (like most of us) to other efforts at energy saving. Those last 10 R numbers will pay off Very slowly!

Electricity for heat is the worst thing- can you supplement with any other? (wood, bottle gas) or go to Natural Gas?(the ideal)

Topic Author
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:42 pm

My electric bill averages $117 a month. Part of that is due to the shading provided by 12 oak trees, but several will be removed in the next few years due to their condition, leaving my roof fully exposed to the brunt of the southern sun. Unfortunately, we do not have natural gas service and comparing my bill with those of my neighbors who use oil, I'm spending less. My fireplace needs to be relined and hence, is not useable. Fortunately, I like it chilly in the house in the winter (67) and warm in the summer (75) which helps.

The cost includes of course, foaming up air leaks around ceiling penetrations. It will be sprayed insulation; I am physically not able to do it myself. They also have to install rafter vents around the perimeter. But the bid does seem high, hence I am getting more.

We are also going to see a rate increase at some point to cover the cost of burying the lines across the service area, but that amount is yet unknown.

ekid
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Location: central Indiana

Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by ekid » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:47 pm

" It will be sprayed insulation"

Ah! That explains That. I think we (I, certainly) were thinking cellulose and I got recent quote for $1200 for 1200 sq ft.
I do live in lower cost of living area.

Topic Author
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:03 pm

To ensure I am being correct, when I say sprayed, this is from the quote:


"We will achieve this level by overspraying your existing insulation with owens corning fiberglass insulation, making a continuous layer throughout the attic. We will install the air baffles / dams to ensure that the insulation does not fall down or block the air flow of the soffit vents."

R 38 is now the Code for new construction where I live, though not required to bring it up to Code, that is my preference.

There are some difficult corners to get into and then there is the protection of the heat pump which is up there - I dislike my heat pump, but that is for another day. But, I will see how the other bids come in.

bob60014
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Re: Help With Insulation Savings Calculator

Post by bob60014 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:21 pm

What you posted from the quote, looks like they are just blowing loose insulation on top of the existing insulation. Nothing special here and nothing indicating they are doing any "sealing". Pricey @ $3800, get other quotes.

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