Energy efficiency and home energy management have been developing trends in the last year or two in the relationship between consumers and their utilities. Now comes word of a new study detailing how effective this relationship has the potential to be at driving down home energy costs as well as reducing carbon emissions.
The study, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), found that energy reduction behaviors based on data generated from information-based energy efficiency programs reportedly could generate billions in savings for Americans and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 8.9 million metric tons per year on a nationwide level.
Programs from 11 utilities across the country were analyzed in the study, encompassing more than 750,000 households nationwide. It was found, on a national basis, that these information based programs had driven household savings ranging from an average of 1-3 percent per year – mostly through small behavior changes.
The data analyzed includes more than 22 million meter reads gathered over periods of a minimum of twelve months from each of the deployments. The data analyzed came from the home energy reporting program of Opower, an energy management company each of the utilities were working with.
EDF believes that, if every home in America reduces their energy use by the average in this program, projected energy usage would drop by more than 26,000 GWh per year. The previously mentioned carbon emissions savings related to this power reduction is equal to the emissions from three 500-MW coal-fired power plants.