Evaluating Energy Claims

Beware of some energy-saving claims

From time to time, various companies come through the area selling products with claims of extraordinary energy savings. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Chelan PUD conservation staff can help you evaluate the cost effectiveness of energy-efficiency products and decide whether they’re appropriate for your lifestyle and the area’s climate. It’s also a good idea to contact local retailers for price comparisons. Many window installers from out of the area charge significantly more than local companies for the same or similar materials and work.

One tip: Read the fine print. Often, savings are calculated for average retail rates of 10-12 cents per kilowatt hour or more. Chelan PUD customers pay an average of 3.2 cents per kilowatt hour.

If you have a question about the value or benefit of energy products, please call us at (509) 661-8008.

Some products that have been sold in the area but generally don’t work well here:

  • Attic shield. This is usually a radiant barrier with a small amount of polyethylene closed cell foam. This product will reflect some radiant heat. It has about a quarter-inch of insulation. In our area, most heat loss is through convection and conduction, not radiation. This product will save an almost immeasurable amount of energy.
  • Roof reflector. This is a white heat-reflective elastomeric coating. This is often used on mobile homes and flat roofs as a reflective barrier. Works best during times when air conditioning is needed; air conditioning is not a major cost for homes in our area. We are a heating climate primarily.
  • Souped-up surge protectors. Some companies sell these surge protectors with capacitors to residential customers, but they’re pretty useless in homes. Some commercial and industrial customers with large motor loads may see some benefit with improved power quality. Tests done on these types of products have shown no discernable energy savings in a residential application.
  • Space heaters. Out-of-area companies selling space heaters sometimes rent conference rooms at local hotels to promote their products. Before purchasing an expensive space heater, compare it to similar products available at local stores.
Related: "Reflective attic-blanket roadshow is back in town" - Wenatchee World, May 2017