Home energy management is the conscious awareness and control of your personal energy consumption. This will involve taking a series of readings from your electrical meter and comparing data you collect over a period of time.
With each recording of data, you will be able to determine which behaviors and which appliances are costing you the most money.
The good thing about this is that a great deal of savings can be earned simply by changing your daily habits. You do not always have to buy new equipment.
However, once you have seen where your own behavior needs to change, you will feel more comfortable replacing devices that are clearly costing you money, and which will certainly save you money when you reinvest a portion of your new savings in new energy efficient upgrades.
Energy management begins with routine recording of your home energy meter. This will reveal the total energy usage of all electronic devices in your home, including your HVAC system. Do this consistently for several days a week over the course of at least one month. Then, average your readings together.
This initial number is very important. Even though it does not tell you exactly how much energy each appliance is using, it will give you a starting point from which you can calculate how much electricity different devices are using, and ultimately wasting.
The next step in home energy management is actually a series of steps that involve changing the way you use appliances. Begin by applying some basic energy efficiency tips that focus on changing how you use various household appliances.
Reduce the amount of artificial light in your home by using as much natural daylight as possible. When you cook in your kitchen, prepare food as often as possible in smaller appliances such as the microwave or slow cooker rather than using the oven or stove.
Wash your clothes and dishes in cold water only, and wash only full loads. Turn on your computer only when you need to use it. Do not run the TV or stereo in the background just to have noise in the room.
With each change of your appliance usage routine, continually revisit your electrical meter and record how much electricity you are using. You will see that to some extent less power is being consumed. Subtract this number from the original number you recorded during your first meter reading. This number represents how much power you are conserving simply by using your appliances differently.
The final step in home energy management is to replace equipment that you know is old or malfunctioning. For example, the most outdated piece of technology in anyone’s home now is the incandescent bulb.
It is bad for the environment, has a short life span, and is a true power hog. Replacing every incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb which will last far longer and pay you back for the upgrade costs is the first step to take.
To determine if certain devices are a drain on your power, try not using a specific device for a week and take a meter reading. If you see a noticeable drop, then this indicates you probably need to replace it. Starting with your least expensive kitchen appliances that you use on a daily basis, replace them one by one with energy star upgrades.
Monitor your energy management progress each time you make an affordable upgrade. You should also notice a financial savings concurrent with electrical usage reduction cost. Set aside a portion of this savings to reinvest in a residential energy assessment.