We recently posted on our blog about the importance of being energy aware as a homeowner. Knowing how much energy you and your household members are using on a regular basis is the first step toward energy conservation and monthly savings on your energy bills. Energy awareness helps identify specific actions that can be taken to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for homeowners to find out how much energy they are using on a regular basis.


One tool that can be especially helpful when it comes to estimating how much energy your household is using is the Home Energy Yardstick from Energy Star. By using this tool and answering just a few quick questions, users can get the following:


  • Your home’s Home Energy Yardstick score, which calculates energy used for a typical home of your size and structure in your location


  • A comparison of how much energy you probably use on heating and cooling as compared to how much you’re likely using with your household appliances


  • An estimate for how much carbon emissions are produced by your home on a yearly basis


  • Links to resources from Energy Star with helpful tips on improving your Home Energy Yardstick score, which ultimately means using less energy and saving money


In order to be able to estimate your home’s energy usage, the tool asks for some very common questions about your home, including your home’s zip code, the square footage, the number of occupants in your home, the fuel type your home uses for heat and other necessities, and the amount on your energy bill from the last 12 months. You can typically find a summary of the past 12 months on your latest energy bill statement.


It’s very important to remember that the Home Energy Yardstick should not be used as a replacement as a professional home energy audit. If you find, using the Home Energy Yardstick, that your energy usage is perhaps higher than it should be for a home similar to yours, it’s a great idea to contact a professional contractor to perform a comprehensive home energy assessment. These professionals can pinpoint to exact problems your home is having and identify ways to improve the performance and efficiency of every part of your home.


Once you and your contractors have identified improvements that can be made and you have the energy use knowledge you need for your home, you can make some smart, targeted decisions to increase your home’s efficiency and comfort.