How Does Your Home Energy Use Stack Up?
(Please note, this is a guest blog post from EPA ENERGY STAR®.*)
Ever wonder how your household energy use compares to your neighbor’s? Fret no more! The Home Energy Yardstick, available at http://www.energystar.gov/yardstick is a free, on-line tool that allows a homeowner to compare their home’s energy use to similar homes across the country to see how they measure up. By entering your home’s annual energy use, the number of occupants, conditioned square footage, and its ZIP code, the Yardstick computes a score between 0 and 10, indicating the relative energy consumption of your home compared to a nationally representative sample of single family homes. On the Yardstick scale, 0 is the most energy consuming household and 10 is the least energy consuming household. An “average” home scores a 5 on the Yardstick.
So go grab your bills–most will include your most recent 12 months of use. It only takes about five minutes to enter the information and get a score. You can even print a certificate and brag to your neighbors if your score warrants. For those of you whose score is less than brag worthy the Home Energy Advisor (http://1.usa.gov/if4kxt) provides recommendations for energy-saving improvements for typical homes in your area.
Although these tools provide insight into your consumption and how to reduce it, they are not meant to replace a professional. So if you need an expert opinion on how to improve the efficiency and comfort of your home a good place to start is with a local Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Currently, there are over 30 locations (http://1.usa.gov/qcPqGM) across the country, where you can take a whole-house approach to improving the efficiency and comfort of your home. A participating Home Performance contractor will evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment, recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results, and help you to get the work done.
Ted Leopkey is a program analyst with the ENERGY STAR Residential Branch and has been with EPA for 5 years. He works on promoting energy efficiency best practices related to HVAC installation, residential construction, and manages the Home Energy Yardstick.
* This is a guest post from EPA ENERGY STAR®. Sears’ environmental commitment and our partnership with ENERGY STAR makes it easy for you to choose sustainable products that not only save you money, but make a difference. Join us in the fight against climate change. Whether for your home, business, school, or community, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ENERGY STAR program has the tools & resources you need to save energy. Learn more at www.energystar.gov or www.energystar.gov/changetheworld or follow us on Twitter at @ENERGYSTAR.
This is a blog written by Ted Leopkey. Sears did not compensate him to write this blog or to say particular things in it. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely his own.