Home Energy Reports

Frequently asked questions

The Home Energy Reports program is part of our ongoing efforts to help customers save energy and money.

About 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.

Opower developed and operates this program for Otter Tail Power Company. It has been effective in reducing home-energy costs and consumption across the nation.

About the home comparison group

  • What homes are in the comparison group?
    The similar homes referred to in your report don't 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 isn't 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'll 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 or call 800-493-3299.
  • How can homes in my comparison group use so much less energy than me?
    Homes in the comparison group share similar characteristics but aren't identical in size or features, which may lead to variations in energy use. Additionally, owners of more efficient households may have taken 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 why my household uses more energy than my neighbors?
    Home Energy Reports are provided as a service for customers and include a wide-range of ideas about saving energy. You're the best person to determine which ideas may best fit your personal situation.
  • 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 of receiving these reports 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.