Report Finds That Energy Efficient Home Owners Need to Consume Less Energy

If you’re a San Francisco resident that uses solar power, it’s pretty safe to assume that you think you’re living a pretty eco-friendly life style. After all, you are using a very clean energy form to power your home, and if you care enough about the environment to use solar power you’re probably taking other steps to live a more environmentally friendly life style. After you convert your home to solar it’s pretty easy to feel like an eco-warrior, but a recent study shows that some energy efficient home owners still have a long way to go in terms of living green.
Shocking Results
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) did a study on energy efficient homes and energy usage, and their research did show that overall homes in the U.S. have become far more energy efficient in the past decade. Don’t get too excited, they also noticed another surprising trend. The study also noticed that some energy efficient homes still used a surprising amount of energy, and some have even managed to consume more energy than older homes.
Homes that meet Energy Star energy efficiency standards are doing their part to conserve energy. HVAC costs in energy efficient homes are far less than costs in regular homes, and if the homes use energy efficient appliances the energy savings are even greater. Since energy efficient homes are on average 30% bigger than regular homes some people theorized that they use more energy because of their size, but their insulation and green HVAC system would eliminate almost any extra cost.
The Rebound Effect in Eco-Friendly Energy
The results of the EIA study were most likely caused by a green version of the famous “rebound effect”. In medicine the rebound effect occurs when symptoms that were managed by medication emerge or re-emerge once the patient stops taking medication or has their medication dosage lowered. In the world of conservation and energy economics, the rebound effect refers to people’s behavior and responses to new energy efficient technology. Sometimes when people use energy efficient electronics they can tend to use them more than they usually would because they use less energy, but their spike in usage almost negates any positive effects their eco-friendly energy can have.
The results of the EIA shows that energy efficient home owners need to be more mindful of the energy they consume. Green buildings are only one part of creating a truly energy efficient society; the people who live in the green buildings need to also do their part to consume less energy.