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How Energy Disaggregation Can Inspire Efficiency

April 1, 2015 by Jeff St. John

Pulling apart whole-home energy data and turning it into appliance-by-appliance breakdowns can help even the most inspired household energy-savers get more efficient. That’s according to a report released Wednesday that tracked the results of an 850-customer pilot project conducted last year.[read more]

Reducing Stress on India's Grid With Efficient, Climate-Friendly Air Conditioning Refrigerants

March 27, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

India Energy Consumption Efficiency

India leapfrogging over antiquated, soon-to-be obsolete, and inefficient refrigerants will benefit the power sector while saving consumers money. It will also advance the Indian economy, ensure Indian industries can compete in the international market, and help mitigate climate change.[read more]

Voluntary Agreement Continues to Reduce Energy Consumption of Television Set-Top Boxes

March 8, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Home Energy Use Reduction

About 85% of U.S. households have at least one set-top box (STB) for cable, satellite, or other telecommunication signals, according to 2013 data. In most cases, these STBs operate at almost full power whether they're actively being used or inactive.[read more]

Nest Thermostats Now Link Up to Products From LG, Philips, Whirlpool, and Others

January 10, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Last June, Nest announced that there were some big names in the first round of integration with its thermostat, which acts as the hub for its smart home platform. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015, the list of names has gotten even bigger.[read more]

Halloween Energy Vampires Survival Guide 2014

October 31, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Preventing Home Energy Drain

There are energy vampires lurking in your home that are disguised as normal appliances and electronics. These bloodthirsty monsters have a voracious appetite for sucking energy out of your electrical outlets and money out of your wallet, even when they’re turned off or in sleep mode.[read more]

Better Yellow Labels

October 29, 2014 by Lucas Davis

Labels and Energy Use

Information provision is a key element of energy-efficiency policy. Just think of the ubiquitous yellow EnergyGuide labels. This information is supposed to help consumers make better decisions. But current labels report only very coarse information based on national average energy prices and usage of the appliance.[read more]

Natural Gas Appliances Can Cut Home Heating Bills in Half and Reduce Emissions

May 10, 2014 by Christina Nyquist

Natural Gas Savings

You could save anywhere from $300 to $1,262 per year on home heating costs and reduce your carbon footprint just by choosing a natural gas furnace, water heater or both. A piece of equipment with a higher annual fuel utilization efficiency rating provides greater savings for customers.[read more]

Historic Agreement to Slash Energy Use by Set-Top Boxes Will Save $1 Billion Annually

December 25, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

Energy Savings

Under a historic agreement announced recently, the electricity used by the more than 230 million set-top boxes installed in America’s homes by your cable, satellite, or telephone company will be slashed by 10 to 45 percent, depending on the model, and save consumers $1 billion annually.[read more]

Which Costs More: A Load of Laundry or a Cup of Coffee?

March 20, 2013 by Veronique Bugnion

Electricity and water rates vary widely across the country, and the costs of doing laundry shake out differently depending on where you live.[read more]

How Much Energy Do YOU Use To Brew Coffee And Make Toast?

September 30, 2011 by Jim Pierobon

Now before you reply ‘it’s not enough energy to care,’ consider this: Up until now there was no way to gauge how much electricity a small appliance uses over an average 5- year lifespan. Enter Savenia Labs of Bethesda, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. Long overlooked because of their relatively modest energy consumption, toaster/...[read more]

Smart Appliances – Putting the Cart Before the Horse

January 10, 2011 by Christine Hertzog

The recent spate of announcements about smart appliances at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) shows that we still have much to learn about the really important enhancements that matter for intelligent energy use. Enabling selected devices to be “grid-aware”, that is, capable of receiving price signals from utilities, has some value in...[read more]

Smarter Grids, Appliances, and Consumers

February 22, 2010 by Big Gav

Lester Brown has a post on smart grids at TreeHugger - Smarter Grids, Appliances, and Consumers. More and more utilities are beginning to realize that building large power plants just to handle peak daily and seasonal demand is a very costly way of managing an electricity system. Existing electricity grids are typically a patchwork of...[read more]

Privacy Questions about Personal Energy Consumption Data

February 1, 2010 by Christine Hertzog

The standard electric meter provides data about how much electricity is used over a defined time-frame, but smart meters provide additional details about consumption.  Do you know which home appliances use the most electricity?   For the vast majority of Americans, the answer is no.  There’s a quote that I’ll reword:...[read more]

Can Apple make Home Energy Management sexy?

January 28, 2010 by Tom Raftery

Will Apple move into home energy management, and if they do, can they make it sexy and front-of-mind for everyone? I made this point in a reply to a post earlier on the IBM Global Eco Jam and I thought it could well do with being fleshed out to a full post here to see what others think. In case you were hiding under a rock yesterday,...[read more]

Home Energy Management Systems Support – It Is Not Sexy, But It Should Be

December 21, 2009 by Christine Hertzog

Previous blogs discussed proper introduction of Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) solutions and In-Home Displays (IHDs) into residential consumer homes.   While these solutions hold great promise to help consumers save money and the environment through participation in energy conservation and energy efficiency programs, the...[read more]