Many homeowners are reluctant to have an audit, fearing the worst outcomes will be cost prohibitive."People think if they have an audit they'll have to spend all this money immediately. The audit is to give homeowners a plan to work off of," said Ron DeRose, owner of WBS Energy Solutions in Grand Junction. It could be as simple as changing out lightbulbs, caulking and weather-stripping, and budgeting for bigger projects in the future such as air sealing and insulation, he added."Most people don't know how easy it is to do some of this stuff on your own," said DeRose, who teaches customers who want to do it themselves.According to DeRose, there are three reasons to have a home energy audit, aside from the rebates being offered by Xcel Energy.1.) Comfort issues - Are you comfortable inside your house? Is it too cold inside your house in the winter even though the heat is on? Too warm in the summer? 2.) Energy bill reduction - Being energy efficient saves money in the long run.3.) Stewardship - Feel good about leaving a smaller carbon footprint and protecting the environment.A home energy audit takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, DeRose said, with the auditor thoroughly inspecting appliances, windows, door seals, weather-stripping, hot water heater, A/C, furnace, crawl space, attic, the exterior of the home, and more. An infrared camera and blower door test are used to identify areas of air leakage. Following the audit, the homeowner receives a 20-26-page report detailing every facet of the inspection including solutions to fix issues.As for applying for the rebate, DeRose submits all the paperwork to Xcel; the client doesn't have to wait for a rebate check in the mail. To take advantage of the Xcel rebates, homeowners must use an Xcel-qualified home energy auditor. Locally, they are:• WBS Solutions, Ron DeRose -970-433-6644, firstname.lastname@example.org• EnergyWise Consultants - 970-242-9473, email@example.com• Frostbusters & Coolth - 970-255-1122, firstname.lastname@example.orgFor information on all the rebates Xcel offers, visit xcelenergy.com and click on "Save Money & Energy."