As the summer months begin to heat up the country, many homeowners will once again walk that difficult tightrope of trying to keep cool while protecting their utility bill from air conditioning overload. These months always see a big spike in energy usage; fortunately, as newer homes become more efficient at regulating temperature, that energy usage isn’t as high as it once was. The Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) recently reported that energy usage in US homes from heating and cooling decreased from 58% in 1993 to 48% in 2012.
However, as we use less energy in our homes for heating and cooling, something else is making up the difference. The RECS also reported that energy use from appliances, electronics, water heating, and lighting has increased from 42% in 1993 to 52% in 2012. In fact, by 2009, the largest energy usage category for the average U.S. household was for appliance, electronics, and lighting.
If we want to permanently decrease the amount of energy we use in our country, we must begin to look more closely at how much energy our appliances consume. Electronics and appliance manufacturers can help by analyzing the power usage of their products and working to lower their product’s energy needs.