Energy Upgrade California

Anchors Aweigh Energy LLC

Energy Upgrade California


What would you do with a $4,500 incentive to upgrade the comfort, health and efficiency of your home?

Energy Upgrade California™ offers up to $4,500 to make upgrades to your home including:

  • Attic, Wall and/or Crawl space Insulation
  • Building Air Sealing
  • Heating and Air Conditioning improvements
  • High Efficiency Water Heater (gas or electric)
  • High Efficiency Appliances
  • Lighting Upgrades

The best part of this program is you can use a third party such as Anchors Aweigh Energy , whose only interest is providing you with the information you need to make the best decisions possible when it comes to investments in your home. We perform the diagnostic testing and computer modeling of your home and work with in your budget while maximizing the energy savings and incentives.  This model is then used to generate a cost effective list of improvements which are required as part of the Energy Upgrade California.  You can choose how many or few upgrades to complete with the Advanced program.  The difference between the advanced and basic path is the basic path is prescriptive, it requires you do certain things to comply. The Advanced path allows more flexibility to achieve higher savings and more options. The efficiency improvement modeled in the software determines your incentive amount.

Incentives start at $1,250 for a 10% improvement and increasing $500 for each 5% up to $4,500 for a 45% improvement as part of the Advanced Path or better called the Customized Approach.  The model of your home determines your incentive amount based on your selected upgrades.  An Energy Audit is performed before and after upgrades are completed to ensure your home met the upgrade targets. Matching funds may be available in your area, some projects AAE has been involved with received 0% financing and $4,000 in matching funds from the City of San Diego in addition to the $4,000 incentive from the utility program. There are also incentives available to have your home audited by HERS 2 raters such as Anchors Aweigh Energy when your home is scored on the HERS index and certified.

Combustion Safety Testing and Carbon Monoxide testing is conducted as part of our audits. Please contact authority’s immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide issues in your home. Contact Anchors Aweigh Energy for questions about carbon monoxide in your home.

Anchors Aweigh Energy is BPI and HERS II certified to provide you with customized strategies for your home to lower your energy bills while improving your homes comfort, health and safety.

Call today, 800-597-7153 EXT 9 today. Click here to go to the Energy Upgrade California site to learn more.  E-mail Anchors Aweigh Energy today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for home owner questionnaire and free phone consultation on what is possible with your home. Write home energy audit questionnaire in subject line.

Whole Home Rating HERS Score

Anchors Aweigh Energy LLC

Whole home ratings


HERS II Rater is the title for a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Whole House Energy Rater.  A HERS II rater takes a standarized approach to model a home with computer software after diagnostically testing and measuring the home.  CalRATEPro is the computer software used to generate your HERS index score.  Pictured to the right is a HERS Index and a New Home would score 100 and the closer to 0 the less energy a home uses.

HERS II Rating uses the only state approved protocals and software that generates a list of cost effective energy improvements that will pay for themselves through lower energy bills. This clearly identifys what investments into your home will be cost effective.


A HERS II rating can help you qualify for programs like Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM), Real Estate programs and Utility Programs.

Our highly trained HERS II certified professionals can provide you with a complete assessment of your home.

Anchors Aweigh Energy is certified by CalCERTS the ONLY provider approved by the calcerts_logo_with_cert_raterCalifornia Energy Commission to train & certify Whole House Raters to issue HERS II Energy Audits & Ratings using CalRATEpro approved software.

To schedule a HERS II Audit call 800-597-7153 for more information.


A whole house energy audit completed by a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater provides the home owner with a detailed report on their homes energy usage along with a HERS score which rates the homes performance.

Reccomendations are provided on the cost effective measures that can be taken to save money.

Reasons for an energy audit:

  • Utility Bills are high
  • The Heating and Cooling system isn't quite working
  • The Heating and Cooling system has to run all the time
  • Rooms are drafty
  • One room is cold/hot when others are fine

The report the HERS rater will prepare for the home owner details the energy the home uses and identifies what energy efficiency upgrades will have the highest payback.

A good HERS rater will give your home an energy score based on the standards established by the California Energy Commission (CEC). A great HERS rater will also provide recommendations and project management as an additional service to help guide the home owner through the maze of utility paperwork, tax credits, and permits.

Once a home energy performance report is complete with cost and benefit estimates, projects  can be implemented to lower energy bills and make your home more comfortable. A HERS rater can be a valuable asset in guiding the process for you.  Handling everything from choosing a contractor to ensuring inspections are handled on time.  

Many municipal and utility efficiency incentive programs require a home energy audit for the home owner to participate. Typically efficiency programs want to see at least a 10% improvement in energy usage. Although saving as great as 50% or more are possible, you need to know how much energy your home used before you implement your project to know how much the efficiency project saves you. Also the municipality or utility who may fund your project need to be sure they are allocating efficiency money to the projects that deliver the greatest energy savings. The report a HERS rater will prepare is such an important piece of information for home energy decisions that many incentive programs require them.

Having a home energy audit completed will provide you with a list of recommendations on the most cost effective solutions for your home.  This information is important when considering upgrading your heating and air conditioning system, windows or adding solar.  We have done our best to make this process simple and easy to understand.

  1. Call us at 619-251-3026 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to schedule a home energy audit
  2. Find a copy of your electric bill before the home energy audit so we can look up your utility bills over the past 12 months.
  3. Think about your home... are some rooms drafty? too hot or cold? does it seem like you run the air conditioner or heater too much?  These are just a few of the questions we will ask before the audit. 
  4. An energy audit can take between 2 - 8 hours and after the audit you will receive a report on your home in 24 hours.
  5. Now, armed with a list of recommendations you will know what the best course of action is to make your home more efficient.




HERS for Home Owners

Are you trying to figure out what HERS is and what the building inspector or your contractor is talking about? If this topic involves the heating and/or air conditioning system in your home then you are in the right place. If you would like to learn more about the Home Energy Rating System or getting a whole house audit then give us a call. 

So your heating and/or air conditioning system broke down or you decided it was time for an upgrade. Like all good citizens you want to make sure the law is followed, the work you are having done is by a licensed professional contractor, a permit is pulled with the local building authority, and the work is inspected by a local building official.  These steps protect you against future fines and penalties from the local jurisdiction for un-permitted work, and it gives you piece of mind knowing your warranty on your new equipment will be honored because the system was installed by a licensed contractor among many other things. And now you have to have HERS testing too???

This seems like a lot of bureaucratic non-sense but the fact is most home owners are un aware of how the heating and air conditioning system in their home works. Unfortunately many contractors are just as ignorant to what a compliant installation is. The local building inspector is only checking code issues regarding the local jurisdictions liability for permitting and approving the work done on your home. None of the permitting or building inspectors test the functionality or efficiency of the installation. Combine this lack of functional testing on your newly installed system with leaps in the technological sophistication over just the last five years and you end up with installations approved by the local jurisdiction which uses twice as much energy as needed, cost twice as much to operate, fail prematurely due to improper installation and leave the home owner with the same comfort problems they intended to address in the first place. Measuring the installed system operating conditions gives us the data needed to compare against the manufactures specifications to determine if the system will reach manufactures specifications for energy efficiency.


When you are investing $5,000 to $20,000 dollars into your home, your largest investment, and it is meant to last 15 to 20 years doesn't’t it make sense to have a third party inspection to make sure the minimum standards are met? According to National Comfort Institute the average home mechanical system is only delivering 57% of its capacity to the home. This means a five ton air conditioner is using approximately 17.5 kilo Watts an hour in energy but only 8.75 kilo Watts an hour of energy is making it into the home. If the gas tank in your car had a hole which allowed it to only hold 57% of the fuel you could pump into it, would you keep the pump running until it shut off? The delivered efficiency of a system which has had HERS testing done and meets the minimum compliance requirements delivers 63% of its capacity or about 11.02 kilo Watts of that 17.5 kilo Watts an hour a five ton system is pulling through your electrical meter. Proper installation would have the delivered efficiency over 95%. When I mention delivered efficiency here, I'm not talking about standard name plate data, I'm talking about how much energy the system uses versus how much of that energy actually reaches your home. For example a 95% efficient furnace delivers 95% of the energy from the fuel it burns to the air it is heating. If the 95% efficient furnace is leaking 30% of the conditioned air outside then you are defiantly not 95% efficient. 


Trust but verify. Most contractors are above board and do the right thing when it comes to installing a new system in a client’s house. These are the systems which deliver 51%. Most contractors are good at their job but need help when it comes to understanding how to get a system into compliance and what actions they must take to deliver the greatest value possible to the customer. These are the systems delivering 63%. The HERS raters at Anchors Aweigh Energy are the highest trained and most experienced energy auditors in California. We have the experience with every situation possible in a HERS rating and have always been able to help the home owner and contractor come up with a solution which results in a compliant installation. When requested, Anchors Aweigh Energy can assist in troubleshooting and system redesign to achieve the highest delivered system performance possible.

Call Anchors Aweigh Energy now to have your HERS questions answered



Anchors Aweigh Energy LLC  2307 Fenton Parkway #107-143, San Diego, CA 92108                  858-254-1189                     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



What does HERS cost?

What does HERS testing cost? Or better, what does not having HERS testing cost? This content is the property of Bruce Cheney.

Almost any change you make to your home is going to involve installing something which is newer, and better engineered. Any change you make to your home will change how much energy it uses.  Lets look at an example using some average numbers. This may not apply to your home exactly but the math does.  A five ton air conditioner uses 17.5 kilo Watts of energy an hour. The average system in California is leaking 30% of this air. This is a low number, in our testing we commonly find systems leaking over 50%. Let’s assume you run the air conditioning 4 hours a day in the summer season of July, August, September and October.  We won’t include the heating yet just to keep it simple. 122 days of the year the air conditioner is on for four hours a day and it is leaking 30% of the air you are paying to cool. This works out to 488 hours of 17.5 kilo Watts an hour being pulled through your utility meter over this one cooling system. The average tier one rate in SDG&E is about 0.16 cents per kilo Watt hour so this works out to your cooling season costing you about $1,400 in electricity costs. 30% of that is wasted to the outdoors so your energy cost loss is $420. A duct test costs $250. The requirements for a new duct system are less than 6% leakage so if this system is compliant with the minimum current building standards, not the best, just the minimum standard, the energy cost loss would only have been $84. Your system may be smaller so the payback may even be up to a few years, but when the life of a properly installed system is 15 to 20 years with a heating and cooling season every year, a diagnostic test which pays for itself in one to two seasons is a no brainer versus not having testing done and even assuming your home is average, and that rates don’t go up, your wasting 30% of your heating and cooling costs to something which is avoidable. If the above numbers apply, is the extra $420 per cooling season alone not worth having your system HERS tested after work has been performed on it? This content is the property of Bruce Cheney.

The average system is low on refrigerant which reduces the efficiency of the system by at least 20% percent. Checking the amount of refrigerant in the system is an indicator of how hard the system has to work to move heat from inside the home to outside using compressed refrigerants.  If there is not enough refrigerant, the system has to work twice as hard with half the heat carrying ability. If there is too much refrigerant then the system can freeze up and cause serious damage to the components which won’t be covered under any warranty.  The system will also short cycle with too much refrigerant causing spikes in energy usage. A standard refrigerant charge verificaiton is $150 alone or is reduced to $80 when combined with another verificaiton such as duct test or air flow fan watt draw verificaiton. This content is the property of Bruce Cheney.

System airflow is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting the efficiency the engineers in the manufactures lab designed your system to achieve out of the system installed in your home. It is common to have contractors recommend installing bigger systems to address other issues with the home such as lack of insulation without also increasing the size of the duct work. Many systems are originally designed with duct work which is too small as a cost saving measure to the developer and historically duct design has not been part of building plans and no testing, inspection or enforcement existed until 2010. The amount of air flow over the air conditioning coil or the heat exchanger in the furnace has a direct relationship to how efficiently that heat transfer occurs between the air and the equipment. If the airflow is too high (very rare) then the air does not have time to exchange heat with the system. If the air flow is too low, then different things happen depending on whether heating or cooling. During the cooling season the air conditioner evaporator coil in the system duct work is below dew point so water condensates on the cooling coil. If the air flow is too low, too low to blow the condensation off the coil fins into the condensation pan, then the water freezes between all the fin metal fins on the coil effectively blocking all air flow through the coil and putting a large ice block in the duct system. The system fan has to work even harder because of the resistance of completely frozen coils and the house does not get cool. The limit switch on the coil shuts the system off because the coil frozen and everyone in the house can’t figure out why the air conditioner is running and the fan is running but the house isn’t cool. When the air flow is low because the ducts are undersized, then not only does the home not get comfortable, but the watts used by the fan to try to push a large amount of air through small ducts shoots up costing more in energy costs and system wear. This higher pressure that the system is under because of the undersized ducts also magnifies the duct leakage we talked about above because if the system is sized properly then the system pressure is low and the fan does not have to work so hard to move air. An air flow and fan Watt draw verification costs $125. This content is the property of Bruce Cheney.