Have you ever wondered how your house measures up to similar houses in your area? The Home Energy Yardstick provides an online analysis of energy use of your home compared to that of similar homes, taking into account the effects of local weather, home size, number of occupants, and your home’s energy use. The “Yardstick” is a scale from 1 (poorest energy use) to 10 (best energy use). It can be applied to single−family detached homes, mobile homes, townhouses, and duplexes. Sorry, apartment data isn’t valid. The Yardstick score is based on data obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). Although the Home Energy Yardstick is not meant to replace a home energy audit conducted by a professional, it can provide you some useful insights, using real-life data.
How it Works
Go to http://www.energystar.gov/yardstick and click on “Get Started.”
- Enter for your zip code, number of people in your household, and the square footage of your home.
- Next, indicate what type of energy sources are currently used in your home.
- Select “I do not have Green Button data” so that you can enter your numbers in manually. Gather 12-months’ worth of energy bills, using your actual statements from the electric and gas companies. If you do not have these handy, you can often access them online. Enter the start and end dates – month and year – you want to use.
- On the next screens, enter the amount of energy used each month, not the dollar amount of your bill. For electricity, enter the number of kilowatts (kW); for natural gas, enter the amount of therms.
- Now click “Calculate My Score.”
A score of 5 is average, but higher is better. Keep in mind, these calculations do not take into consideration if you have a pool or other special energy usage situations. Check below your energy use graph for useful tips they provide. For example:
- If your energy use is especially high in the winter and summer months, you may benefit by increasing your home’s insulation (especially in the attic), updating the heating system, duct sealing, and installing a programmable thermostat.
- If your base energy use is high, you might benefit from purchasing ENERGY STAR certified appliances and electronics, or modifying your behavior related to home energy use (such as altering your thermostat settings, length of showers, etc.).
- Revisit the Home Energy Yardstick each month to see the impact of any energy improvements you make to your home and save your progress.
- Take advantage of the Home Energy Advisor online. It has lots of great ideas, tips, and offers.
- Thinking of buying an existing home? Ask the current homeowner for the last 12-months of energy bills and check to see if you’ll be buying an energy-efficient house, or one that is an energy hog.
If you live in the Nashville area and have questions about anything heating or cooling related, call on Interstate AC Service at 615-832-8500. We’ll help keep your home running efficiently… and maybe get that Yardstick score up!