Menu
Amazon Kindle Voyage Rethinks the Reading Experience

Amazon Kindle Voyage Rethinks the Reading Experience

Mat Franco won America's Got Talent

Mat Franco won America's Got Talent

SpaceX and Boeing build manned NASA Spaceships

SpaceX and Boeing build manned NASA Spaceships

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

iPhone 6 Reviews are Glowing

iPhone 6 Reviews are Glowing

Home electricity use in US falling to 2001 levels

Dec 30 2013, 12:42pm CST | by , in News

 
 

Despite more gadgets, electricity usage in US homes is falling to levels last seen in 2001

NEW YORK (AP) — The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago, back when the smartest device in people's pockets was a Palm pilot and anyone talking about a tablet was probably an archaeologist or a preacher.

Because of more energy-efficient housing, appliances and gadgets, power usage is on track to decline in 2013 for the third year in a row, to its lowest point since 2001, even though our lives are more electrified.

Here's a look at what has changed since the last time consumption was so low.

BETTER HOMES

In the early 2000s, as energy prices rose, more states adopted or toughened building codes to force builders to better seal homes so heat or air-conditioned air doesn't seep out so fast. That means newer homes waste less energy.

Also, insulated windows and other building technologies have dropped in price, making retrofits of existing homes more affordable. In the wake of the financial crisis, billions of dollars in Recovery Act funding was directed toward home-efficiency programs.

BETTER GADGETS

Big appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners have gotten more efficient thanks to federal energy standards that get stricter ever few years as technology evolves.

A typical room air conditioner — one of the biggest power hogs in the home — uses 20 percent less electricity per hour of full operation than it did in 2001, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

Central air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, washing machines and dryers also have gotten more efficient.

Other devices are using less juice, too. Some 40-inch LED televisions bought today use 80 percent less power than the cathode ray tube televisions of the past. Some use just $8 worth of electricity over a year when used five hours a day — less than a 60-watt incandescent bulb would use.

Those incandescent light bulbs are being replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs that use 70 to 80 percent less power. According to the Energy Department, widespread use of LED bulbs could save output equivalent to that of 44 large power plants by 2027.

The move to mobile also is helping. Desktop computers with big CRT monitors are being replaced with laptops, tablet computers and smart phones, and these mobile devices are specifically designed to sip power to prolong battery life.

It costs $1.36 to power an iPad for a year, compared with $28.21 for a desktop computer, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.

ON THE OTHER HAND...

We are using more devices, and that is offsetting what would otherwise be a more dramatic reduction in power consumption.

DVRs spin at all hours of the day, often under more than one television in a home. Game consoles are getting more sophisticated to process better graphics and connect with other players, and therefore use more power.

More homes have central air conditioners instead of window units. They are more efficient, but people use them more often.

Still, Jennifer Amman, the buildings program director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, says she is encouraged.

"It's great to see this movement, to see the shift in the national numbers," she says. "I expect we'll see greater improvement over time. There is so much more that can be done."

The Energy Department predicts average residential electricity use per customer will fall again in 2014, by 1 percent.

___

Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://twitter.com/JonathanFahey

Source: AP

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

DeAngelo Williams Uncertain to Play Vs.Pittsburgh Steelers
DeAngelo Williams Uncertain to Play Vs.Pittsburgh Steelers
Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams' status for the Sept. 21 Sunday Night Football matchup against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers is still uncertain. He missed the 24-7 win over the Detroit Lions last Sunday as well as practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to a thigh injury.
 
 
Amazon Black Friday
Amazon Black Friday
There is no denying that Amazon.com is the worlds largest online retailer. With the one of a kind savings and a customer service experience that is entirely unlike any other that people have experienced in the past. If...
 
 
Cam Newton Not Distracted by Greg Hardy Case
Cam Newton Not Distracted by Greg Hardy Case
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton told ESPN on Sept. 18 the ongoing controversy involving teammate and defensive end Greg Hardy -- who is involved in a domestic violence case -- won't serve as a distraction for the upcoming Sept. 21 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
 
 
Ron Washington Resigned Because He 'Was Not True' To His Wife
Ron Washington Resigned Because He 'Was Not True' To His Wife
Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who abruptly resigned two weeks ago, said the reason he stepped down was because he "was not true" to his wife Gerry.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.