Managing home energy use

Home-Energy-Use-2If you want to make the best use of your efforts to save money on your energy bill, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) can show you where to start.

Nearly half of the electricity Americans use in their homes, 43 percent, goes to heating and cooling air and water. Nearly a third of our electric use, 31 percent, goes to running our heating and air conditioning systems, and another 12 percent powers water heaters.

In second place for residential electricity use is a grab bag of appliances and lighting. One-fifth of the electricity we use in our homes goes to refrigeration (6 percent), lighting (5 percent), clothes drying (4 percent) and TV and video games (4 percent).

To get the quickest and biggest return on energy savings, focus on how you use your heating and cooling system and water heater.

“Turning off an LED light bulb may come to mind when you think about saving energy,” says Keith Dennis, vice president of consumer member engagement for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “But in the grand scheme of things, it’s adjusting your thermostat that’s going to make the biggest difference.”

Small changes to energy use habits, like turning off lights when you leave a room or unplugging devices when not in use, can help you save. To make the biggest difference in energy use, pay attention to how you heat and cool your home. That’s where the biggest potential for saving energy lies.

Source: Paul Wesslund