Put one’s energy house in order and score one for the environment – revisited

Here it is October already and I’m thinking: “This is as good a time as any to revisit home energy usage.”

So, why not revisit home energy usage?!


My home energy picture

In case you either do not remember or did not read “Put one’s energy house in order and score one for the environment – an update,” in this I wrote: “In an area of the [bimonthly home energy] report referred to as ‘Personal Comparison,’ indicated is that home energy consumption in Jan.-Feb. 2012 was four percent less than in Jan.-Feb. 2013. There could be many reasons for this, but I would think the weather during this time, 2012 versus 2013, was the main determining factor.”

Hot water heater
Hot water heater

Well, it turns out there is some encouraging news. In my latest bimonthly home energy report (Jul. 12, 2013-Sept. 10, 2013) in a year-over-year comparison, my home’s energy usage was 3,727 between Jan. and Aug. of 2013 compared to 3,866 between Jan. and Aug. 2012. Numbers reflect combined natural gas (measured in “therms”) and electricity (measured in “kilo-watt-hours”) components though no units of measure for the numeric values representing the combined elements are specified. In essence, regarding my home energy usage for the two reporting periods, in 2012, my home used four percent more energy than it did this year.

Another useful comparison I believe is my home’s energy usage compared to similar other homes.

In my Nov. 8, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013 home energy report, my home used 51 percent less electricity and 52 percent less natural gas than homes similar to my own.

Reasons behind improved numbers

One possible explanation is that between Jan. and Aug. of the two compared years, weather conditions were more conducive to energy consumption being less in 2013 versus 2012. Other contributing factors could be the purchases of a new clothes washing machine and a new furnace this year in March and June, respectively.

Overall, my gut feeling is 2013 weather-wise was milder compared with 2012. Not just energy and weather related, but air quality also – at least as far as ozone is concerned – there is so far this year improvement compared to last. Keep in mind ozone numbers for 2013 are preliminary, but this year is shaping up to be much improved over 2012 in this regard in the San Joaquin Valley.

– Alan Kandel