healthy house institute

4 Free HHI Books:

Creating a Healthy Household, The Healthy House Answer Book, Healthy Home Building, The Healthy House 4th Edition
Your email will only be used as described in our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

 

Search

Proud Supporter of:

OnlineCourses.com

 

OpenCourseWare

Article

Measuring Matters

Perhaps the greatest challenge to promoting energy efficiency is that you can’t see it. People understand electricity produced from a PV [photovoltaic] collector on the roof, and a kWh [kilowatt hour] meter can easily report precisely how much energy was generated. But with more-efficient products, savings cannot be directly measured; instead, one must reckon the difference between a real and a hypothetical situation. This complexity creates a lingering uncertainty whether the promised savings did or did not actually occur.

 

article continues below ↓


We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

There’s another paradox related to the evaluation of energy savings. Conscientious program managers and energy professionals should want to collect energy consumption data and perform the necessary analysis to be sure that the technology worked as expected. After all, how can one learn from mistakes if the mistakes aren’t observed? But the world works differently. If the preliminary estimates are proven correct, then program managers are open to criticism for wasting money on needless and expensive evaluations. Alternatively, if the savings are less than expected, the managers are criticized for running ineffective programs or installing defective technologies. In an era of declining funding and short time horizons, they can’t win. I can understand why they would want to skip the measurements and I can sympathize with them.

That’s why two articles in the January/February 2012 issue of Home Energy magazine, quantifying energy and water savings from high-efficiency equipment are especially welcome. One article describes the energy and water savings to be gained from replacing old clothes washers with more-efficient units (see “Do Savings Come Out in the Wash?” p. 26). The savings are large: The most efficient units cut water and energy use almost 50% compared to the original units. And this study took place in mild San Diego; the savings could be greater in colder climates. The results also demonstrate the need to study the clothes washer, water heater, and clothes dryer in combination. The energy consumption of these three appliances is inextricably connected, depending as it does on hot- and cold-water consumption, internal water heating, and spin speed.

This study had another intriguing result: With increasingly efficient clothes washers, the energy conservation battlefields are shifting. The dryer is now the largest electricity consumer in many homes, thanks to shrinking consumption by refrigerators and lights. It’s time to develop and commercialize technologies that increase the efficiency of clothes dryers. Heat pump dryers are now crossing the Atlantic, but other technologies, such as heat recovery, deserve attention. A zero energy technology crossing both the Atlantic and the Pacific is line drying. It’s done overseas because energy is expensive, and some simple devices make it more convenient. A second battlefield may be the rising cost of detergents. Is Proctor and Gamble capturing an unfair share of the energy savings? This will be the topic of a future article.

The article on water savings found that replacement of relatively new toilets with better-designed, water-efficient units cut water use by greater than one third (see “Does Replacing Toilet Fixtures Save Water?” p. 22). Service calls fell dramatically, too. These outcomes demonstrate that the evaluator’s paradox has a third outcome, that is, the savings are larger than expected and include benefits not initially considered. A solid example was provided in this article with evidence that was obtained through only modest data collection and evaluation. Where skeptics question the difference between hypothetical and actual savings, these two articles prove that not only can efficiency gains be measured, but that the outcomes are real and substantial.

 

Reprinted by permission of Home Energy magazine.

 

 

 

HHI Error Correction Policy

HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting allen@healthyhouseinstitute.com with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on HealthyHouseInstitute.com as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.

 

While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

Measuring Matters:  Created on March 7th, 2012.  Last Modified on August 15th, 2012

 

We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

About Home Energy Magazine

Home Energy magazine’s mission is to disseminate objective and practical information on residential building science, performance, energy efficiency, comfort, and affordability, with an emphasis on implementing sound building fundamentals and curing unhealthy houses using a systems approach. Visit Home Energy.

 

 

Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Education Partners

 

 

Popular Topics: Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers | Allergies & Asthma | Energy Efficiency & Energy Savings | Healthy Homes | Green Building
Green Cleaning | Green Homes | Green Living | Green Remodeling | Indoor Air Quality | Water Filters | Water Quality

© 2006-2017 The Healthy House Institute, LLC.

 

About The Healthy House Institute | Contact HHI | HHI News & Media | Linking Resources | Advertising Info | Privacy Policy | Legal Disclaimer

 

HHI Info