Home >Article >Guillen Family Reduced Utility Bills by More Than $300

Guillen Family Reduced Utility Bills by More Than $300

Apr 13, 2012


About the Project

Carlos Guillen lives with his family in Faubourg Marigny, near the French Quarter in New Orleans. Mr. Guillen purchased his beloved historic house 15 years ago and watched his four children grow up inside its walls. Despite hurricane Katrina, the house still stands tall.


The historic home is a work in progress. Mr. Guillen installed a new roof and HVAC system, striving to create a home that maintains its historical beauty while being efficient and affordable. Yet to increase the home’s energy efficiency and comfort, more needed to be done.


Mr. Guillen conducted some research and came across Global Green’s Build it Back Green (BIBG) program, which has RESNET-certified, home energy assessment and diagnostics contractors.


Global Green BIBG has been a RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) certified contractor since 2007. To achieve certification, the staff completed RESNET training courses covering HERS® test methods (blower door/duct blaster), REM/rate, building science, weatherization, CO2 safety, and renewable energy, as well as three RESNET-supervised field rating trips.


Analysis and Upgrades

BIBG technical team members Myron Warden and Andrew Spaulding went to Mr. Guillen’s house and performed blower door and duct blaster tests. The blower-door diagnostic, through whole house depressurization, revealed a significant amount of air leaking into and out of the home and enabled the technical team to pinpoint the sources of leaks.


To address these energy-loss culprits, the BIBG technical team sealed Mr. Guillen’s HVAC ducts, placed a radiant barrier in his attic and installed generously donated spray foam insulation under his second-story cantilevered floor.


Before (work in progress)




Key Benefits

The weatherization upgrades implemented by RESNET-certified contractors Warden and Spaulding enabled Mr. Guillen to reduce his utility bills by more than $300 a year, increase the comfort of his home and reduce his home’s carbon footprint. (A little-known fact is that residential homes are responsible for 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.) This was done by reducing HVAC leakage by 30 percent, house leakage by 12 percent, and CO2 levels by 10 percent



Today more than ever, homeowners want to save money. Effective home energy solutions can reduce utility bills by up to one-third. But self-diagnosis is misleading, as energy-loss culprits are often not visible to the naked eye, as was the case with Mr.Guillen’s home. RESNET-certified inspectors review all aspects of the home, employing the latest tools and technologies – for example, thermal imaging and an air leakage blower-door test – to diagnose air sealing problems and recommend cost-effective solutions.


“The house is more comfortable now. And I know it’s because of the ducts that were sealed and floor that was insulated. With Global Green’s help, I’ve improved the house for my family, and learned a lot about green building.”
– Carlos Guillen


According to SWA, its RESNET certification has been crucial to implementing the programs most popular with clients like the Kantors. Those programs include LEED for Homes, National Green Building Standard, and Energy Star Homes.