Retrofit Efficiency - Chance of Improvement
I live in Central CA (hot/dry) and looking to purchase Solar, a new gas-pack HVAC on roof, and possibly new washer/dryer, and dishwasher. The home is a 1990 small suburban track home, single story, 1350 sqft.
CHF has an Energy Retrofit program that is quite nice, covering an initial energy audit, some incentives, and final audit. But what I really want is the 3% loan offered for the renewables (like PV), only available IF you first improve your home >=10% in energy efficiency improvements.
The problem: I'm not sure I'll qualify since I've done all the DIYer changes to the home already. (see below)
I have the list of exactly what the energy auditor checks, but which are the "big ones" that would bring improvement the most -- specifically for determining that % improvement for the energy efficiency number, using software like EnergySoft's EnergyPro 5.
Question: Is it BY FAR the ducting and envelope sealing above all else show the largest % improvements?
What are the chances of showing a 10% improvement rate for my situation? There is quite a wait time for scheduling the audit and I need a new HVAC fast (no hurry on solar or the appliances).
I completely agree with the "efficiency before production" concept, but I may have improved my home right out of a great loan. But alas, I also see the logic in only offering the loan to homes that "really need it".
DIY Changes I've made:
1) sealed MOST spaces between the attic and living space (exhausts, recessed lights, etc),
2) sealed every joint of my ducting (gobs of mastic, twist ties to lock 'em down, and metallic tape), including the plenum
3) added LOTS more insulation (minimum 12" of blown cellulose everywhere and covered with R-8 or R20 batting on top of that for certain rooms needing it),
4) and added radiant barrier on top of attic insulation, including plenum,
5) put thick solar-block insect screens + UV block film on all sun faced windows,
6) and lots more of the little easy stuff (bulbs, fans, etc).