Home Energy Surveys
portfolio web templates

by John F Robbins CEM / CSDP

My household energy surveys for Ohio Valley residents in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana began in 2001 and lasted thru 2018 when interest waned.  They were designed so homeowners, designers, builders and energy professionals could have yearly energy data analyzed and compared for free with other households.  Main purposes of my surveys are to: 

1) Learn what is best and average home energy performance in the Ohio Valley

2) Show how to describe and present energy data to allow better comparability and usefulness

I have 2 reports discussing and summarizing Ohio Valley home energy performance 2001 through June 2012.  Click on either to view or download.

Summary (6 pgs)

Full Report (24 pgs)

Surveys 2010 and after are still open to accept new data.  Click on any year to see annual data.

Participants in my Ohio Valley Household Energy Survey were asked to sum all conventional energy and fuel acquired (even for free, as with firewood) within each calendar year.  They were told not to include energy leftover from a prior year (as with heating oil, LP or firewood).  They organized and submitted their data according to the following format, then sent it to me by mail or email. 



3) Current HOUSE SIZE (Total gross square feet of "conditioned" space, excluding unconditioned garages, porches, basements, etc.  Most "gross area" is measured from the outsides of exterior walls, but for conditioned basements, use "slab area" inside the foundation walls.

4) Approximate HOUSE AGE and YEARS SINCE LAST MAJOR ENERGY UPGRADES.  For example, if house was built 40 years ago but 10 years ago got new windows, more insulation and a new furnace, say "40, 10".  If more than 1 round of upgrades have occurred, give multiple ages.  If house was built 20 years ago and has had no major energy upgrades, just say "20". 

5) Average NUMBER OF RESIDENTS.  If a person resided for half a year, state "0.5" for that person.  If a child resided but left for college in the fall, state "0.75". 

6) HOW MUCH ARE RESIDENTS AT HOME?  (see list "b" below for suggested percents of occupancy)

7) INDOOR TEMPERATURE RANGE.  This could be min-max thermostat settings for heating and cooling, including setbacks.  Or it could be what is actually observed as min-max temperatures in all or part of your conditioned space.  For example, in my home, our min-max t-stat settings including setbacks are 68-81F, but the observed min-max range throughout our conditioned spaces in 2017 was 56-82F.

8) List ALL YOUR CONVENTIONAL ENERGIES.  (Electricity, natural gas, LP, wood, oil, pellets, kerosene, as many as you used)

9) HOW MUCH OF EACH ENERGY (for each energy type listed in #8: how many kWh, ccf, gallons, cords [see note "a" below about firewood], pounds, etc., whatever unit you're either charged by or measuring it.)

10) TOTAL PAYMENTS ($ totals for each energy type listed in #8)  If free, say "$0" or "free" next to energy type.

11) ENERGY SUPPLIERS (for each energy type listed in #8).  If firewood from your neighbor, a local supplier or your own backyard, say exactly that.

12) WATER USAGE, COST & SUPPLIER: (total usage in gallons or ccf, total WATER-ONLY cost in dollars, name of water supplier.  Do not include sewer costs in the water cost.)

13) ENERGY FEATURES of your house & household (See "c" list below for features keys) 

Here's my own 2018 data organized as I am asking:
1) Robbins, John
2) Kenton, KY
3) 2100 sf
4) 32, 20, 15 (more insulation, better airtightness, passive solar addition, better daylighting, more efficient lights, solar PV, solar hot water)
5) 2
6) 90%
7) 56-82F
8) Electricity, firewood
9) 7662 kWh, 0.8 cords
10) $952.02 for electricity, $140 for 0.79 cords firewood + 0.01 free cords onsite
11) Owen Rural Electric, some firewood from a neighbor
12) 38 ccf, $533.15, NKY Water District (water cost only)

(a) Firewood 
Measure or estimate firewood by volume. A traditional "cord" of firewood is 128 cubic feet, often stacked 8' x 4' x 4' either 2 rows of 24" long pieces or 3 rows of 16" long pieces. A standard pickup truckload is usually 1/3 to 7/16 cord (= 0.333 to 0.437 cords).

(b) Estimating % Home Occupancy

99% only for true stay-at-homes! 
95% for most "stay-at-home" w/ 1 or 2 outings per week
90% for 4 member urban/suburban home with one 5-day/wk commuter
85% for 3 member urban/suburban home with one 5-day/wk commuter
80% for 2-person households with one 5-day/wk commuter
70% for 2-person households with two 5-day/wk commuters
60% for 2-person households with two 6-day/wk commuters
50% for busiest run-around households

(c) Household Energy Features (list all that apply) 
A - Active Solar (heating water and/or air)
B - Bermed Living Space Walls (like finished bsmts and earthbermed homes)
C - No Clothes Dryer and/or very infrequent use (as when a clothesline is most often used )
D - No Dishwasher and/or very infrequent use (as when dishes are most often washed & dried without machines )
E - More Efficient or Non-Electric Appliances
F - Mostly Fluorescent & LED Bulbs
G - Superior Windows (R-3 or higher, low air leakage like less than 0.10 cfm/sf)
H - Efficient HVAC
I - Income Production at/from home
K - Household Electricity Used For Vehicle Recharging (whether some or all recharging, hybrid or all-electric)
L - Energy Efficient or Productive Landscape (summer shade, food, windbreak, waste processing & storage, etc)
M - Net-metering of onsite renewable energy (which lowered reported electricity usage & cost, including surpluses carried forward to future months
Nf - No Furnace
Na- No AC
P - Passive Solar (better daylighting, winter space heating, summer shade)
S - Superior Insulation (like 50% higher R than local code requirements)
T - Improved Airtightness
U - Underground (roof at least partially covered, most walls fully bermed)
V - PVs (solar electricity, whether all or some, on-grid or off-grid)
W - Home Water Supply (like a well or roof-fed cistern)

John F Robbins, CEM / CSDP 
3519 Moffett Rd
Morning View, KY USA


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