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26 Facts & Tips About California Home Energy Efficiency

Last updated 6 years ago

During this period of economic recovery and increasing environmental awareness, California homeowners are looking to save energy and save money. To achieve both goals, California residents may consider decreasing their current home energy usage and spending through efficiency upgrades.

With energy-efficient improvements, including home insulation and window replacement, homeowners can cut their energy costs and prolong the life of their appliances. If you are considering energy-efficient upgrades, take a look at the following four trends affecting California homeowners today:

Trend #1: Home Energy Costs Are Staggering
Americans currently spend $241 billion dollars a year on home energy use. That means one in every five dollars spent goes toward home energy costs. In 2009, California residents spent an average of $2,838.67 per person on energy costs. Most of our home energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. According to Energy Star, if a skilled contractor insulates and seals a home, the homeowner may realize a 20 percent cost savings on heating and cooling and close to a 10 percent overall cost savings on energy.

Trend #2: Older Homes Desperately Need Upgrades
Millions of California homes have inflated heating and cooling costs due to outdated insulation and windows. The California Energy Commission reports that more than 50 percent of California residences were built before 1978, when the state first implemented its building and energy-efficiency standards. Only about 20 percent of homes built before 1980 have proper insulation, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report. Furthermore, about half of all U.S. homes built prior to 1990 lack double- or triple-pane energy-efficient windows. Residents with older homes can reduce energy usage and realize thousands of dollars in cost savings with insulation and window upgrades.

Trend # 3: California Policy and Incentive Programs Favor Energy-Neutral Homes
In 2008, The California Public Utilities Commission approved changes to the state’s building energy-efficiency standards (Title 24) for new residential construction. By the year 2020, all new homes built in California must be energy neutral. With an influx of energy-neutral homes into the real estate market, by comparison, older homes without energy-efficient upgrades will become less desirable and may even decrease in re-sale value. Through the Energy Upgrade California program, homeowners can receive up to $4,000 dollars in rebates and incentives for measured performance through air seal, insulation, and window upgrades. Some homeowners may qualify for Southern California Gas Company’s attic and wall insulation rebate program, too.

Trend # 4: Poor Installation Decreases A Product’s Effectiveness
Even a tiny installation error can have dire consequences. For example, a two to three percent gap in attic insulation will decrease the performance of that insulation by about 50 percent! Although many contractors will offer window installation as a service, working with a C-2 insulation and acoustical licensed contractor will increase the efficiency of your new windows by reducing air leaks in the building materials surrounding the window.

Share your new knowledge of home energy-efficiency trends in California! We’ve put together an interactive list of statistics, facts, quotes, and tips all about heating and cooling costs, insulation and sealing, and window replacement. Click “Tweet This” to share on Twitter, or repost your favorites to Facebook or Google+.

26 Facts & Tips About California Home Energy Efficiency

  • In 2009, Californians spent an average of $2,838.67 per person on energy. That's $622 less than the US average. Via @ENERGY. #ProgPro (Tweet This)
  • In 2009, 58% of U.S. homes had efficient multi-pane windows, up from 36% in 1993. Via @EIAgov #ProgPro (Tweet This)
  • 60% of U.S. homes are heated and cooled by ducted forced air systems, which are only 60-75% efficient. Via @ENERGY #ProgPro (Tweet This)


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