While natural gas is often viewed as the dominant residential energy source, electricity reductions may offer a greater savings in dollars or environmental impact. Starting with the Thousand Home Challenge's premise of deep energy reductions, examine the strategy of evaluating one's energy use against a measurable budget. Walk through an electrical audit with Chris Hunt, and review the processes and tools he applies to sort out the opportunities presented. The costs and characteristics of different types of power monitors will be highlighted. Three issues of interest to those on the path to deep energy reductions include: 1) use of monitoring data to inform equipment change-outs or system changes; 2) assessing the cost of equipment upgrades/replacement vs. PV to meet an energy budget; and 3) creating a system for rapid feedback to confirm that the project in on track to meet their energy budget.
Chris Hunt owns PowerDown, an energy consulting service that provides electricity audits to homeowners in Northern California. He is passionate about teaching other professionals to incorporate electricity reductions in their work, whether part of a remodeling or home performance job or the installation of renewables. Chris developed a technique for circuit-by-circuit analysis of electricity usage in the home that helps determine and eliminate the background power draw. This can account for a significant portion of the electric bill.
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