Roger Taylor, owner of DwellGreen of Dallas, spent more than 35 years in the IT industry, where he served as an advisor to executive management. Over the years, he became interested in his own home’s energy efficiency, but it wasn’t until after he retired in 2011 that he considered taking his interest a step further and started by taking two energy auditing certification courses. He did well and it piqued his curiosity even more. “Construction was always a hobby of mine, too,” he explains.
“After retirement, I knew I wanted something to keep me busy, so energy auditing seemed to fit. I found DwellGreen and bought the franchise in early 2012.”
In the past, Taylor assessed projects for risks and ability to deliver the proposed services on time and within budget. He now applies those skills to homeowners and commercial building owners, solving energy cost, fortification and water and air quality issues as a certified energy and performance auditor and green building consultant. He assesses the current condition of the home and identifies improvements that save money, address safety and increase energy efficiency and comfort of living areas.
He says the most common reason people come to him is because they have a problem in their home. It’s too drafty or they think they smell gas. One recent client experiencing significant issues with a draft in their home was considering replacing all of the windows, to the tune of about $20,000. After Taylor came in and did an audit, he recommended a simple solution: caulking around the frame of the existing windows. It worked. “That is the kind of value I can bring,” notes Taylor.
A typical home performance evaluation step begins by identifying a client’s goals, objectives and problems. He offers a free in-home consultation to discuss issues and concerns regarding the home and will then conduct a quick walkthrough to see firsthand how the home is being used. The meeting takes no more than 30 minutes. Clients can then choose to take it further with an audit.
For existing and new homes, Taylor offers three levels of energy auditing: essential, complete and comprehensive. An essential energy audit comprises a detailed visual inspection of every part of the home, such as doors, walls, insulation, lighting, HVAC equipment and attic spaces. Based on his findings, he will provide homeowners with recommendations focused on their personal goals in the order of their priority. “It’s a very customized plan,” he explains. “In other words, if their goal is to make their child’s room more comfortable, my recommendations will be based on that. If they want to save money on their electric bill, my suggestions change.”
If the house feels damp, for example, there are many ways to control moisture. Some include improved site drainage, air sealing, positively pressurizing the interior and a whole-house humidifier. “We use infrared cameras to help us identify leaks, infiltration and other potential moisture problems, and then make recommendations on how to eliminate these issues,” states Taylor.
A complete energy audit includes all of the work of an essential audit, plus a blower door test to identify leaks in the home; a duct blaster test to diagnose duct leakage; and a thermographic infrared scan to evaluate the flow of heat through the home and determine potential problem areas.
The comprehensive energy audit includes all of the work of the essential and complete audit, plus the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index, a nationally recognized benchmark for energy efficiency that is required for an Energy Star rating.
Taylor says that his evaluation and recommendations are not slanted toward any product or service, because he is a third-party evaluator. “I have a local network of leading service providers I suggest because they meet my standards of quality, but I still like to be there when they are doing the work,” he notes. “Client relationships and follow-through are important to me. If a client decides to have something fixed in their home that I have recommended, I like to be there to walk the contractor through and show them what needs to be done.”
Taylor is certified to conduct plan reviews for building permits and energy inspections for new homes and remodeling projects, which is a building code item required by most cities in the DFW Metroplex. In addition to addressing the energy efficiency of a home or building, Taylor is also a renewable energy consultant and advises clients on the use of solar panels, solar hot water, geothermal heat pumps and rainwater harvesting. For the city of Dallas, he is licensed for the Green Building program inspections. “My passion is at this level—it’s really where we need to go as humans,” he says. His goal is to make a positive environmental impact on the world we live in and to help others do the same.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 214-509-8582 or visit DwellGreen.com/Dallas.