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Energy savings companies busy as people look to save on utilities

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Another blast of cold air is headed this way, and this comes as many people are now paying inflated utility bills related to the polar vortex that had much of the country shivering a couple weeks ago.

That's why companies like Energy Saving Services have been so busy. They do energy audits in homes looking for ways to cut energy costs.

"People are discovering a lot of problems for the first time and the extreme weather has brought to light a lot of issues maybe they living with before but now they realize this is a problem," says Brad Bartholomew with Energy Saving Services. 

What they look for first is leaks and by depressurizing the house, they can pull in cold air.

A thermal imaging camera shows the coldest spots.

"We look for areas of missing or ineffective insulation; we typically find a lot of that in houses actually, even fairly new houses have a lot of those kinds of problems," says Bartholomew.

An energy audit takes several hours and also includes checking the furnace and water heater, the ductwork and fireplaces.

"Utility bills are a big reason people call us, but most of the work we do is actually driven by health and safety issues, comfort issues or indoor air quality, and oh by the way, this will help lower your energy bill as well," says Bartholomew.

Consumers Energy offers incentives and rebates to make many energy repairs.

The typical energy audit costs between $100 and $200, but homeowners can save as much as fifty percent on each energy bill after making the suggested improvements.