1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

How does your home's energy usage compare?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by semipro, May 20, 2013.

  1. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,247
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=HOME_ENERGY_YARDSTICK.showGetStarted


    Assess the energy efficiency of your home and see how it measures up:

    EPA's Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes. By answering a few basic questions about your home, you can get:
    • Your home's Home Energy Yardstick score (on a scale of 1 to 10);
    • Insights into how much of your home's energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water;
    • Links to guidance from ENERGY STAR on how to increase your home's score, improve comfort, and lower utility bills; and
    • An estimate of your home's annual carbon emissions.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Loc:
    North Of Canada
    I know for a fact I have decreased my electrical energy over the past 5 years, installed LED or florescent lighting, Went to a much smaller water heater tank, from 40Gal to 5gal. (for a single guy in a 1100sq ft home it is perfect, 10min shower, load of laundry or dishwasher, just cant do more than one at a time.) But overall I'm guessing my total energy usage has increased. I keep the house 70-80 with wood instead of 58-65. I also have a habit of cranking the stove up once a week or so getting the house really warm and opening a few windows in the winter to get fresh air circulating. and My gas has almost dropped to zero, just enough for cooking.
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,505
    Loc:
    SE PA
    5.8

    Same site 5 years ago: 2.2
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,247
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Based on the announcement I thought it was something new.
    Its good to see you've improved. I'm scared to do mine.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,786
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    2.7

    I really think I have a problem somewhere with my power consumption. Even when I shut the hot tub off for a month, July every year, I am nearly 1000 kwh of consumption. Small house, young daughters (still in the minimal shower stage) high effici wash machine and cold water wash. I don't get it. Old house, newer meter, maybe there is an internal wiring fault somewhere.

    Without home heating demands, the next largest consumer is water heating. I have an electric tank heater in the heated part of the house. Can't see how it could suck so much power.
  6. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    7.7, but I put the same number in for every month of elec. use, and it's a bit high for some months.
    Probably closer to 8, but I didn't feel like getting all my numbers. They're pretty consistent month to month.
    Highbeam, have you checked for phantom loads?
    If I used electric to heat water, my bill would go up about $20/month compared to nat. gas.
    We have elec. stove/oven, and dryer.
  7. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,505
    Loc:
    SE PA
    The site looks updated compared to the old yardstick site, which was pretty primitive.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,786
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I did check for 120 volt phantom loads and even data logged the fridge and freezer with a kill-o-watt. Those things harly use anything by the way. I'm starting to think that I need to use some sort of a whole house monitor and look for some retarded base load. Maybe isolate a bad circuit. Clamp on amp-meter maybe.

    33 killowatt hours a day. That's a lot. Something would have to be shorted out.
  9. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,505
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Recirc on DHW? Demand hot water in sink? Fan blower on 24/7? Neighbors with grow house stealing your power?
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  10. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,247
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    If so, may I suggest bartering?
    Wildo and Frozen Canuck like this.
  11. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Not exactly apples to apples, but I'm between 8-11/day, for a comparison. Most things on power strips. Use goes up a bit when we use the big screen (which is daily now that mom's here).
    Lots of stuff plugged in with power bricks?
    33/day and I'd be turning off the main.:p
    Yeah, we have newer fridge and a 14 cu ft upright freezer too. I don't think either uses much power.
    Something's wonky.
  12. Where2

    Where2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    South Florida
    8.5 on an all electric house @ 31.7kWh/day (11,559 kWh/yr, 1900sq.ft., built in 1961, two adults, in hot/humid South Florida @ 26°N latitude). That is my baseline number Before I install the 4400W grid-tied PV array. I went around the house with my Kill-A-Watt, flipped the switches on a few power strips, put X-10 modules on a few other devices like the DVD recorder. I've installed a digital timer on my 50 gallon electric water heater, turned off ceiling fans in empty rooms, switched out 90% of the light bulbs to CFL, swapped out the halogen bulb in the floor standing lamp to a pair of LED (60W equivalent, 800 lumen) dimmable bulbs (Originally used a 300W halogen, now draws 19W at full bright, dims as low as 0.5W).

    In the laundry I've got a ~4 year old Washer/Dryer, (4.5cu.ft./7.3cu.ft respectively) Samsung front-loaders. They each run (on average) one load per day.
    In the kitchen, I've got a 26.7cu.ft. side-by-side refrigerator (2001 model), a standard dishwasher (1998 model). Electric stove, oven, convection/microwave, and a little 3cu.ft. wine fridge.
    In the garage, I've got a 8,000btu (1995 model) window A/C unit on a digital timer set to run ~7 hours per week to keep the humidity down).
    In the house, the A/C is a 3.5 ton, 14 SEER (1998 model), it runs nearly every day from April to December! It's on a NEST thermostat with a very detailed program.

    The 4400W grid-tied PV array should cut my current electric consumption in half, according to PVWatts 2. My estimated PV output should be around 6,088kWh/yr.
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    I usually use around 400KwH a month. Probably most of that is from an electric heater in the chicken coop, and tools (welder, plasma cutter, chop saw, etc)

  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,057
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    8.8
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,786
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I'm dying here with my high usage. I'm the guy barking at kids to turn lights off, (they are now well trained) shut the firdge door, and heat with wood to cut waste to zip. I turn off my shop lights when I go inside for a snack. All CFLs in the house and we suffer through the long warm up times to save energy. My single ceiling fan is energy star and uses 6 watts to operate.

    No recirc, or on deman heaters, no central furnace, no well pump, no septic pumps, and the stove blower does not run more than one hour per week, old house with old transformer on the pole but I think I have a ground fault. We do watch lots of TV. It's dark here in WA most of the year and with young daughters and netflix, yeah, we watch TV. I replaced the panel with a nice, new, siemens load center 6 years ago so no corrosion or faults at the panel and my grounds are multiple and excellent.

    I could have 50 wall warts at 3 watts each running 24/7 and that would only account for 3.6 kwh per day. Wall warts aren't the problem. I've got something bigger going on.

    We have no gas, all electric.

    Looking at home usage sites, it is "average" for just a 50 gallon water heater in a four person household to use less than 10 kwh per day.

    This is BS, I'm getting a clamp on ammeter and hunting. It should be obvious what is thumping my bill like two extra water heaters.
  16. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,505
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Maybe heat can provide a clue....what is big and warm enough to be blowing 500W continuous that you wouldn't notice? Heck, that room would run warmer than all the others....that is how I found a thermosyphon when I went sleuthing for too high oil usage once.
    Highbeam and Joful like this.
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,893
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I did it two ways, both before wood, and with wood:

    Before wood: Your Score: 0.3
    With wood: Your Score: 0.3

    Since adding the wood stoves, fuel oil usage went down from 1400 gallons to 784 gallons, and propane went down from 100 to 50 gallons, but electricity usage stayed above 20 MWh per year.

    I am married to a woman who had a $300 / mo. electric bill when she lived alone in a 1000 sq.ft. apartment... it's a battle I will never win.
  18. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    8.1 here. Used actual monthly readings for the electric and 2 cords of wood. I guess thats pretty good.
  19. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Loc:
    MA, Suburb of Lowell
    Whoa, 9.4. Used all actual data. Solar electric since October, 3 cords of wood, minimal gas, a grilling with propane ~once/week.
  20. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Should be easy enough to narrow it down to the one (hopefully) circuit. Then the fun begins. I was leaking voltage in the ground to my detached garage for a while.
  21. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Cutting your usage requires not using, unless you're merely talking about transferring usage to non grid power.
    Your 8.5 must be due to less/no use from a stove or something. It's odd to me that your electric use can be over 3x mine, yet your is "score" better than mine.
    Hmmm.
    Smaller overall carbon footie-print, maybe.
  22. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,519
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Wow, after reading all the posts I had to try it. I'm scared to post for fear of either the BS comment (it's happened before). 9.8 all actual useage numbers were used for my family of 3.

    2,377 kWh
    50gal propane (two 100# cylinders lasts ~ 14 months but I said a year)
    50 gal (estimate, filled tank in 2010 and half full mesured by sight tube) kero hot water for a few months in summer
    4 cord wood

    Just for the numbers


    TS
  23. Where2

    Where2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    South Florida
    Remember, I'm at 26°N. This place was impracticable swamp (unfit for general habitation) before A/C became prevalent. My electric use is elevated considerably from the use of A/C and my electric dryer. I had less than 10 days this winter where I actually ran my electric heat. (no wood stove, no fireplace, if I want warmth it's $0.11/kWh all electric) My wife came from 46°N, she'll open the windows if it's 60°F outside! My 2012 carbon footprint was 6MtCO2(eq), the equivalent of 1 car, despite my 11,559kWh/yr consumption.

    When I input my zipcode into the web page, I presumed it compared my use to that of my relative peers. Comparing power use between identical homes located in Northern MI and South FL is not reasonable. Comparing my use to that of my peers and neighbors, that's actually quite reasonable for comparison's sake. Apparently, my neighbors are energy hogs, at $0.11/kWh. My wife used to have $200-$300 electric bills (10 years ago) in a 1,000 sq.ft. townhouse. Her thermostat lived at 74°F, and that's only because the A/C system would never ever cool to 72°F!

    I should rephrase my comment: When I said "cutting my usage", I really meant "reducing my dependence on the power company to supply every kWh I use". I went back and calculated my yardstick for the previous year 2011-2012 and I was at 7.4 with 14,357kWh/yr and 8Mtco2(eq). I do continue to wander through my house and look for things I could change or automate conserve more electricity. I'm probably still at 2kWh-3 per day for the electric water heater. I have not maximized my savings with super precise timing maps based on my hot water use, and I continue to consider a HPWH to serve two purposes.
  24. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,250
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    All electric home, incl heat (except for wood stove), household of 3, north central (cold) Minnesota. Electric clothes dryer year-round and dehumidifier in summer are the big consumption items, other than electric heat. Depending on how I run the numbers, the score is 7.4 or 5.7. The difference is on number of cords. We use 4 cords of aspen, which produces the 5.7 score, but if I convert that to oak (2.4 cords) based on equivalent btu's, then the score is 7.4. Average per day is 30 kwh. During non-electric heat and non-dehumidifier months, average is 15-20 kwh/day.

    I'm also not sure how to treat our lower level, which is 1/2 basement storage and 1/2 finished living space, and we keep the entire space at about 55F most of the time during the winter. I added 1/2 the sq footage to our total area for the basement because it is partially heated, and that heat is all electric.

    We are planning an install of grid-tied solar electric and hope to have that on-line sometime in June. Although we now have a generator and transfer switch for key circuits to cover power outages, I'm thinking that it would be useful to have the solar system setup to allow an easy transition to off-grid in the future, probably a transfer switch to disconnect from the grid and have the solar charge wonder batteries of the future. Probably also would have to add solar capacity if 100% off-grid was to be realized.
  25. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Great response Where2.:cool: I appreciate the clarification.
    I'm curious how your on-grid elec. is generated.
    I went back and redid the "test". Tripled my elec. #, dropped wood use altogether, and left nat. gas alone. Got an 8.1.
    Got a 7.8 by changing again to reflect all nat. gas and slightly higher elec. usage due to no wood use ( this would better reflect an actual no wood scenario for me).
    Most of our elec. power is coal generated. Can we presume coal is cleaner than wood? Wood is about the same as gas? There is no accounting for type of wood stove eff., or nat. gas efficiency either.
    If it gets people to conserve a bit, even though it's pretty generic, it's a gooder thing.

Share This Page