Home electricity use in US falling to 2001 levels

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Posted on December 31, 2013
Home electricity use in US falling to 2001 levels

This combination of Associated Press file photos shows, left, a Cingular “Fast Forward” cradle and Motorola mobile phone in New York on Tuesday Nov. 4, 2003, and an Apple ultracompact USB Power Adapter, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2008, in New York. The average amount of electricity consumed by U.S. homes in 2013 is on track to fall for the third year in a row, to its lowest level since 2001. While we are using more devices, more efficient phone and computer chargers are part of what has changed since the last time power consumption was so low. (AP Photo/File)
The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago, back when the smartest device in people’s pockets was a Palm pilot and anyone talking about a tablet was probably an archaeologist or a preacher.

Because of more energy-efficient housing, appliances and gadgets, power usage is on track to decline in 2013 for the third year in a row, to its lowest point since 2001, even though our lives are more electrified.

Here’s a look at what has changed since the last time consumption was so low.

BETTER HOMES

In the early 2000s, as energy prices rose, more states adopted or toughened building codes to force builders to better seal homes so heat or air-conditioned air doesn’t seep out so fast. That means newer homes waste less energy.

Also, insulated windows and other building technologies have dropped in price, making retrofits of existing homes more affordable. In the wake of the financial crisis, billions of dollars in Recovery Act funding was directed toward home-efficiency programs.

 

Read more at: Phys.org



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