Sustainability Institute's CharlestonWISE offers affordable, unbiased advice on home energy improvements

By David Quick
The Post and Courier


"Jesse Erbel and Colin Jones are detectives, investigating the crimes that rob homeowners of cash, expose them to allergens and unduly tax the precious resources of our environment.
"The suspects are air ducts, doors and windows, inadequate or inappropriate heating and cooling systems, chimneys, and attics and crawl spaces.
(L to R) Collin Jones and Jesse Erbel, building analysts with the Sustainability Institute's CharlestonWISE program, shows home owner Bobby Perry where they had found a problem in the air return system that was costing him upwards of $200 on  his electric bill. 

(Brad Nettles/Staff) 10/2/14
 Enlarge (L to R) Collin Jones and Jesse Erbel, building analysts with the Sustainability Institute's CharlestonWISE program, shows home owner Bobby Perry where they had found a problem in the air return system that was costing him upwards of $200 on his electric bill. (Brad Nettles/Staff) 10/2/14
"Unlike many with vested interests in selling a particular product or service, Erbel and Jones perform tests looking for energy-efficiency issues using diagnostic equipment, such as thermal cameras, a blower door machine and duct blaster. They also make visual assessments to pinpoint problems and offer unbiased recommendations for improvements.

"Those include a priority list of fixes provided to the homeowner in a detailed, multipage report along with a network of contractors who meet the muster of quality work and an updated list of federal, state and utility rebates and credits.
"The cost for the expertise, assessment (which usually lasts two to three hours) and report, which includes graphs and photographs, is $350 for a Charleston area house up to 2,400 square feet with one duct distribution system.
"What's the catch? The service is rooted in a greater calling than profits.
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