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Home Performance with Energy Star

Most members may be aware that our typical energy consumption occurs in three areas:

Electric usage
Thermal (heating (and cooling) of our homes, supplying domestic hot water)

Many members focus on the cost of energy, as in “how am I going to pay $3.60 (or whatever the current price may be) a gallon for heating oil”? Of course the cost is critical, but equally important is how much energy is consumed. And what we know is Americans consume a disproportionate amount of all energy forms.

The average of more than 10,000 Co-op household uses calculates to around 18 kilowatt hours (kwh) per day; often higher in winter, lower in summer. Of course the actual usage depends entirely on what electric loads are used, how these loads are used, and how much effort is made to control electric usage, or not.

A first place to begin assessing one’s energy usage, then, is to understand how much energy is consumed. Recent data (EIA; 2006) data for Vermont show an average of 850 gallons of fuel oil (per household). So, how does your consumption compare? If you’re ‘AVERAGE” then you have work to do, to change (reduce) the volume of energy, and therefore the operating cost.

To save money, reduce pollution and do your part to slow global warming, we recommend a whole house approach to assessing, and then reducing fuel usage.

See the Energy Iceberg:

A good place to start is with Home Performance with Energy Star®, available by contacting:


See related articles in the Co-op Currents:
Sept 2004. Ways we can conserve without spending an arm and a leg. (pdf)

Also, there are two good articles by Gary Reysa in Home Power about the “Half Plan,” with permission. © 2008 Home Power Inc., www.homepower.com.