When a Phoenix homeowner is interested in saving energy, many factors are involved in the plan. This includes evaluating every part of the home, from the way the duct system is designed to the exterior landscaping. Perhaps you have invested in a heat pump or other more efficient energy saving equipment. Has your thermostat has been programmed for the most efficient heating and cooling temperatures and have all air ducts have been sealed? Plus, you may wonder how your home compares against similar homes. After every measure has been taken, how can your efforts be calculated to determine your energy savings?
These questions and more can be answered by Energy Star, an alliance of the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. The goal of Energy Star is saving energy by helping to improve the efficiency of the nation’s homes while at the same time protecting the environment. In 2009 alone, over $17 billon in utility costs was saved by homeowners nationwide.
Energy Star has created a calculator to compare any home’s energy use to that of other similar homes nationwide. It is called the Home Energy Yardstick and it is a rather accurate gauge of the energy you are actually saving and where there is room for improvement. Energy Star also provides advice and suggestions for saving energy by increasing the efficiency of a home’s performance.
What is needed to Use the Home Energy Yardstick:
- Your home’s square footage
- Information from your last month or year of utility bills
- The source of energy that powers your home
- About five minutes of your time
Either monthly or yearly utility information can be entered into the Home Energy Yardstick calculator. For monthly figures, use last month’s bill. This is because Energy Star needs one month to gather meteorological information and cannot calculate the present month. Go back at least thirty days and input the data from last month or the month before into the calculator.
Once you have made your calculations you are ready to check the score for your home. If the score is not as high as you think it should have been, Energy Star’s Home Advisor has advice and tips for increasing the home’s performance for saving energy. While the online tool is a good place to start, it is really no substitute for consulting with a professional for an expert opinion.
At Hobaica Services, we help customers save energy. In fact, we will come to your home, discuss your energy saving goals and help create a plan to save money. You can request an appointment online.