Energy Efficiency Reports Find Homeowners Embracing It

Two new reports confirm the trend that homeowners are becoming more aware of energy saving opportunities and needs and are taking steps to benefit from these savings.

A recent report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) focuses on the concept of "intelligent energy" in the home—the ACEEE's term for energy efficiency made possible by the responsive, adaptive, and predictive capabilities of information and communications technologies, which can save energy by improving the control and operation of buildings.

One finding noted in the report is that the sale of learning thermostats is expected to be three times as high in 2017 as it was in 2013, when two million were sold. Learning thermostats are smart thermostats with an additional feature—the ability to learn when a home is likely to be occupied and unoccupied, allowing it to automatically "power down" when residents leave, and then pre-heat or pre-cool the home so it is at a comfortable temperature when residents arrive back home.

"Learning thermostats reduce energy use in residential buildings and are a key component of many utility-sector energy efficiency and demand-response programs," the report states.

In addition, the report projects sales of products and equipment in the larger category of home energy management (HEM) will increase from $273 million in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2020. A HEM is a product or service that monitors, controls, and/or analyzes energy in the home, including residential utility demand response programs, home automation services, data analysis, and auditing.

"In 2015, only five percent of homes had some type of HEM device, but the number is estimated to reach 19 percent by 2021," the report states.

A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on household energy characteristics focused in residential trends in structural features, heating and cooling, water heating, appliances, and lighting as they related to energy usage.

One finding of the EIA report is that homeowners are more likely that renters to have LED lamps. And, in a somewhat surprising statistic that highlights just how rapidly homeowners have adopted new lighting technologies in recent years, the report noted that just 11 percent of households in total report having all incandescent bulbs.

Another EIA report finding is that, while over half of all households have programmable thermostats, only one-third of those households use the programmable feature to auto

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