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The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago…but it appears that it isn’t really because our personal habits have changed.

According to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, power usage in the U.S. is on track to decline in 2013 for the third year in a row….so what has “powered” the change?

Building codes are tougher, forcing homes to be more energy efficient; insulated windows and other building technologies have dropped in price, making retrofits more affordable; and big appliances have gotten more efficient thanks to constantly stricter federal energy standards. Some examples include:

  • A standard room air conditioner uses 20% less energy than it did just 12 years ago
  • Large LED televisions can use 80% less power than the cathode ray tube televisions of the past.
  • Laptops, tablet computers and smart phones are much more energy efficient than the desktop computers of yesterday.

However, just as technologies are becoming more efficient, we are using more devices. It just so happens that the improvements are outweighing our consumption – for the time being. Just think of how much better we could do if we ALSO changed our habits!

5 simple things you can do TODAY!

  • Consider having “no-technology” nights at home – days when the TV, computer, and smart phones stay off.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that makes sure your heat/AC doesn’t accidentally get left on when you aren’t at home. Also, try setting the temperature on your heater 2 degrees lower or your ac unit just 2 degrees higher – you won’t notice much difference in comfort but it will save energy. You could even geek out and get a Nest.
  • If you haven’t gotten rid of your cathode ray television (the big box style), do it. Make sure to dispose of it properly. Individuals and small businesses can their units to REPC in Seattle or Tukwilla and recycle it free of charge through the
    e-Cycle Washington Program.
  • When you have the funds, consider investing in solar – it is a great way to make a difference.
  • Finally, get inspired! Come check out all of the energy upgrades at Doug + Laura’s Home on the Green Home Tour on April 26!