KCP&L and Spire offer rebates for energy audits, tax deductions to metro homeowners

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Frigid temperatures this month have more people feeling drafts and other problems that keep them from being comfortable in their own homes.

Energy auditors are helping make houses more efficient.

You don't have to live in a 100-year-old house to feel cold air in your home.

Experts say even in new construction there are places where homeowners can save money and make the place they live more comfortable.

Scott Schauner just moved into a new home three months ago.

As temperatures plunged this winter, he and wife found one side of the house four degrees warmer than the other. And they felt drafty air coming in from somewhere.

"Very chilly, very chilly," Schauner said. "We’ve stopped eating breakfast in the breakfast room and eat in the dining room now."

A $300 energy audit identifies where the leaks are coming from, and in Missouri, rebates from Kansas City Power and Light and Spire usually can cover much of the costs to seal and insulate.

"Especially when you get attic insulation, by the time the insulators leave your house, your house just feels different," said Ben Meyer, an energy auditor with Star Energy Consultants. "Certainly when air sealing is done, you’ll notice drafts go away and the temperature of the house doesn’t vary from one side to the other, or from one floor to the other. The differences are really immediate."

Meyer found cold air pouring into Schauner's home from what looked like a closed attic fan.

He says it's usually not windows and doors that leak cold air, but your attic or basement that's the source of drafts.

There's also tax deductions in Missouri for making your home more efficient. Meyer says for as little as a $1,000 investment, most homeowners notice a difference in their utility bills right away.