Home Energy Report
Frequently asked questions about Home Energy Reports
The Home Energy Reports program is part of ongoing efforts to help our customers save energy and money.
This program was developed and is operated for Otter Tail Power Company by Opower. It has been effective in reducing home energy costs and consumption across the nation.
- What is the purpose of the program?
Most people are eager to make their home more efficient and save money, but they're not always sure how. The Home Energy Reports program is designed to provide more information about your energy use so you can make informed choices and save money.
About the home comparison group
- What homes are in the comparison group?
The similar homes referred to in your report do not necessarily include the homes on your block or in your immediate neighborhood. The group consists of approximately 100 occupied homes nearby that have similar characteristics.
- How do you know the size of my home and what types of fuel my home uses?
Publicly available data, like the information collected by your county assessor’s office, is purchased for use in the analytics for the program. Data is refreshed when additional information is available to improve the quality of the comparison. Unfortunately, data about all homes is not available, which may result in some inaccuracies at times.
- What if my report appears to be inaccurate?
If you find that your home appears to be inaccurately compared to other homes, contact us and we will verify and update the square footage, heating fuel, household size, and other points of data, which should help to improve the quality of information on future reports. Contact our Idea Center via email or call 800-493-3299.
- How can homes in my comparison group use so much less energy than me?
Owners of efficient households likely take a variety of steps to reduce their electricity use, including:
- Adding insulation.
- Adjusting thermostat settings.
- Installing LED lighting and other efficient appliances.
- Turning off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Running full loads in the dishwasher, washer, and dryer.
- What if there are good reasons that my household uses more energy than my neighbors?
Our goal is to provide you with a comparison that is valid and meaningful. Report comparisons include a group of similar, nearby, occupied homes. However, there are some factors for which we are not able to account. This includes the number of occupants in the home and amount of time the home is occupied, special equipment needs of household members, and special loads like hot tubs and swimming pools.
- How do you calculate the savings in the action steps on the report?
These are estimates of how much a typical home in our service territory will save using current energy costs. Your actual energy savings will depend on various factors including weather conditions, equipment or measures installed and specific rates.
General program information
- Who can see my energy use information?
Only you can see your personal data.
- Can I opt out of this program?
Yes. The reports are provided to help you understand your home energy use, save energy, and reduce your energy costs. If you would like to opt out you can do so by calling 800-493-3299.
- How are the costs for the Home Energy Reports paid?
The program is part of the Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). Costs for the CIP program are recovered through the Resource Adjustment on Minnesota customers’ billing statements.