A Quick Home Energy Health Check
Source: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Energy Star 2011
How much are you spending on energy and is it better of worse than the average?
The average home energy bill in 2011 was $2200 (source EPA)
The average home floor space in 2011 was 1660 square feet (source Energy Information Administration (EIA))
The average cost per square foot in 2011 was $2200/1660 = $1.325 sq ft/per year
Collect your electricity and fossil fuel energy bills and add them together for the past 12 months. Now take that total amount and divide it by your conditioned space (the space you heat and cool) in square feet.
Total energy bill of $4000 and square footage of 2500 sq ft
4000/2500 = $1.6 sq ft/per year
The average bill for that size home would be 2500 * 1.325 = $3312
Now $4000 - $3312 = $688
A difference and your loss of $688 or 20%
Now an energy efficient home can be 40% or more efficient than an average home. Taking the above example and applying energy upgrades for a 40% efficiency increase
Then the $3312 would drop to 3312 * 60% = $1987 or 79c/sq ft
Now $4000 - $1987 = $2013
For a total saving of $2013 per year or 49% of your energy bill
This saved money can be used for energy upgrades, or for an energy improvement mortgage. By dividing the cost of the upgrades by the annual savings you will establish a payback time and a Return-On-Investment justification.
This is a simple approximation and doesn't take into account climate variations, but it does provide a quick check of is your home energy healthy or sick!
An Alternative Quick Energy Check
Use the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick