Americans Are Staying Home More. That's Saving Energy. Except At Home.
Watch Netflix tonight?
Work from home this Friday?
Dinner-in from our favorite place on Uber Eats?
Skip the mall and have it delivered by Amazon?
According to the results of a new study published in Joule, technology is radically transforming our modern lifestyles.
Technology delivers what we need when we need it.
Countless video streaming services have us on the couch, immersed in a perpetual diversion of top-flight entertainment; void of commercials, credits, and even opening scenes.
Streamlined apps offer effortless delivery of our favorite eats directly to our doorstep without the inconvenience of being exposed to the elements, parking, and wait for a table.
"Omnipresent connectivity brought the corporate headquarters into our upstairs home of office."
Interactions with others; casual, business, intimate, or otherwise, routinely happen with the aid of technology from the comfort of our homes.
Between 2003 and 2012, the average amount of time Americans spent at home increased by more than eight days per year.
The more time we're spending at home, the less energy we're using outside the home.
All of this nesting has yielded an unexpected benefit; Americans are saving energy. Lots of it.
While home energy use increased during the period by nearly 480 trillion BTU's, the reduction in traveling (one minute of car travel is 20 times more energy intensive than time at home) resulted in total net savings of 1,700 trillion BTU's of energy (a gallon of gasoline contains about 120,000 BTU's, so this lower consumption translates into 14 billion gallons of gasoline).
The amount of energy we're using in our homes is growing.
Using less energy outside of our homes is good news, but it underscores the importance of making home energy use more efficient.
The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) estimates roughly 90 percent of existing U.S. Homes are under insulated. “wasting energy, money, and decreasing comfort for homeowners.”
The Importance of a home energy audit.
A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
The assessment goes into great detail to ascertain your home's energy use, including a room-by-room examination of the residence and a thorough examination of past utility bills.
Give your home the upgrades it needs.
Remember, assessments alone don't save energy. You need to implement the recommended improvements to enhance energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and increase comfort.
Utilize available incentives.
Because the cost of installing energy efficiency upgrades can be significant, homeowners in New Jersey may want to consider participating in New Jersey Jersey Clean Energy's Home Performance with Energy Star program.
This program, administered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, offers homeowners rebates ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 based upon the projected energy savings of the project. Qualified homeowners may also be eligible for an interest-free loan of up to $10,000 to help cover the cost of improvements.
This means that you can upgrade your home in less time than it takes to binge watch all seven seasons of Game of Thrones on HBO. So get an assessment scheduled, install your upgrades, then kick back, relax, and enjoy the show.