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home energy use

Energy Efficiency Improvements Have Largely Offset Effect of More, Larger Homes

February 20, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Energy Efficiency and Energy Consumption

Analysis of EIA's Residential Energy Consumption Survey conducted since 1980 shows how improvements in energy efficiency reduced energy intensity enough to offset more than 70% of the growth in both the number of households and the size of dwellings.[read more]

Holy Spikes! Have You Checked Your Utility Data Recently (or Ever)?

February 14, 2015 by Wego Wise

Energy Spikes and Utility Data

With some of the coldest temperatures and record-setting snowfall pounding the U.S., many building owners are looking closely at their energy usage. Catching energy spikes is important to decrease utility costs, improve ROI/NOI, and prioritize retrofits, but it shouldn't just be done in the dead of winter.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Residential Electricity Prices are Rising

September 5, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Home Electrical Cost

U.S. retail residential electricity prices for the first half of 2014 averaged 12.3 cents per kilowatthour, an increase of 3.2% from the same period last year. This is the highest year-over-year growth in residential prices for the first half of the year since 2009.[read more]

Household Electricity Data May be a Click Away for Illinois Residents

August 23, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Measuring Household Energy Use

Energy data collected via smart meters could lead to services that improve people’s lives and cut harmful carbon pollution. This is true only if customers have easy access to the energy data they need to control their own energy use and reduce their electricity bills – which isn’t always the case.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: Cannabis Growing Uses 'A Staggering Amount of Electricity'

July 10, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Changing Drug Policy and Energy Usage

As states decriminalize marijuana use for personal consumption and several states move forward with medical use legislation, the subsequent explosion of indoor grow operations has gotten utilities’ attention. There is a concern the energy-intensive “indoor agriculture” could strain the grid.[read more]

Has Consumer Electronics Energy Use Finally Peaked?

June 28, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The Consumer Electronics Association just issued its latest report on the amount of electricity used by consumer electronics and it’s finally begun to come down. However, the total is still enormous, equal to the output of more than 50 large power plants and costing consumers about $20 billion annually.[read more]

Five Stunning Small Homes: Would You Live in One?

February 23, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson

Small Homes

Each summer my little family of four spends 10 days camping in a tent that is about 52 square feet. It is my favorite week of the year. Yet we live in a home that is roughly 1180 square feet. This begs a question: Would we be happier in a smaller home?[read more]

Will That $25 Light Bulb Really Save You Money?

February 13, 2014 by Sarah Battaglia

So you go to the store to replace a couple light bulbs that burnt out and you’re faced with an entire aisle of options: incandescents, LEDs, CFLs, halogens. Which one to buy? There are many factors that will influence your decision, but you’ll probably go for the one that will offer the best economic value.[read more]

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Energy Saving Light Bulbs

February 2, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson

Energy Saving Light Bulbs

If you spend ten minutes reading this post, then I promise you that by the end of it you’ll actually understand how to buy an efficient low energy light bulb. In return I’ll try not to bore you senseless. Ready? Let’s do this. With five simple questions.[read more]

The Polar Vortex Wreaks Havoc On Utility Bills

January 31, 2014 by Veronique Bugnion

Polar Vortex and Home Energy Cost

2014 brought the polar vortex to our vocabulary, and with the continuing bitter cold in the Eastern half of the US, most of us are wondering: what’s going to happen to our utility bills? The short answer is that it’s not going to be pleasant in the near term, and probably not in the longer term either.[read more]

Google and Nest: The Big Picture for Home Automation Competitors

January 18, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Google’s acquisition of smart thermostat (and smoke detector, and who knows what else) startup Nest Labs for $3.2 billion is sure to send waves through the VC community, where to date we’ve seen nothing quite this big in terms of a successful payback on a home automation investment.[read more]

Cold Snap Highlights Need for Updated Furnace Efficiency Standards

January 12, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Furnace Efficiency Standards

With the polar vortex bringing subzero temperatures to many parts of the US, many Americans are huddling inside. But not only are they suffering through the extreme cold, but many will be hit with higher heating bills as they pay the price of the energy used to keep their homes safe and warm.[read more]

How You Set Up Those Electronics Gifts Makes a Big Difference in Energy & Dollars

December 29, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

Home Electronics Settings

It used to be the only energy issue of the year-end holidays was whether Santa Claus remembered to bring enough batteries for all the new toys. But today's gifts of phones, TVs, computers, and other electricity eaters can generate Santa-sized drains on household power all year long.[read more]

The Value of a Well Insulated House

November 29, 2013 by Lindsay Wilson

Home Insulation

The better insulated and air tight your home is the more comfort you get from each unit of heat. In fact homes can even be so well insulated and air tight that they only need the sun, bodies, appliances and some heat recovery to stay comfortable. These homes are called passive houses.[read more]

What Are the Sources of Home Heat Loss?

November 27, 2013 by Lindsay Wilson

Home Heat Loss

Because a house remains roughly the same temperature over the course of a year its heat gains are equal to its heat losses. We can thank the first law of thermodynamics for this. Heat gains come from heating systems, the sun’s warmth and internal gains from things like appliances and body heat.[read more]