How can I do a home energy audit by myself?

Jul 3, 2011 by Brandon Hayashi | Story Popularity: 9

Whether you’ve jumped head first into the inaugural Kanu Energy Challenge (or gingerly dipped your toe into the water) we want to help you understand your current energy consumption. As with many things in life, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.


Since most of us don’t own a home energy monitor or smart meter, the Hawaiian Electric Company has taken the guess work out of determining which online home energy audit tools have proved to be the most accurate and user friendly. The two recommended sites make it (somewhat) painless to achieve a good level of understanding of your total home energy consumption – the more details you provide, the more accurate the calculations will be (and the more accurate you are, the more time it takes, thus the somewhat painless comment).


Go ahead and click on one of the two links below and take the first step in understanding your energy consumption – knowing is half the battle! And it really isn’t that hard. In fact, once you start getting into it, it can actually be, dare I say, fun?!


Home Energy Saver Program (from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).


Hohm Program (from Microsoft).


Both allow you to input either a more general information approach (gives you only a broad understanding), or take a much more detailed input method, which really digs into your individual energy-consuming habits. 


Both also make it fun to compare it to others in your area. Or, you can even “compete” against your friends, family members and co-workers.


Speaking of competition, by formally becoming an Energy Challenge participant you are entered to win a free solar hot water system, whole-house lighting retrofit or City Mill gift cards. Learn more about the prizes and competition rules here.


Have fun with the home energy audit!


And we look forward to hearing about your successes (and mishaps!) throughout the Energy Challenge.




Archived Comments

Comments posted prior to adopting Facebook comments.

  1. R Hill says:

    Brandon, of the two sites mentioned for conducting an audit:

    1) the Lawrence Berkely site didn't work for me - I believe it couldn't comprehend that I have no heat, and only a room air conditioner. But it also said I should try again later, which I will.
    2) Micrisoft "HOHM" - this site requires a new registration into some Microsoft scheme, so I declined. Further, they indicate they will no longer run the program after May 2012.

    But... I'm thinking I'm OK. Here's my assessment:

    -I went for the big CFL craze a few years back, and have been pleased each time technology advanced in the field (a "3 way" bulb, and a "dimmable" bulb). I will elaborate on the CFL bulbs in the appropriate "commit" in this challengs.
    -I do not ROUTINELY use A/C, and don't have heat. I have the one AC which I use only in the latter part of August if the trades disappear. I have ceiling fans which we operate only when in the room.
    -I have a gas powered hot water heater that I would like to convert to electric/solar, but do not have the $$ to invest. The current H/W heater has been in place since 1988. I believe I am getting the most out of it, keeping the temp way low.
    -I have only one refrigerator/freezer (energy star), and I have an electric washer and dryer (energy star).

    I beleive you can consider me "audited" with a reasonably good score.

    All lights in a room or area are turned off when that room/area is not occupied.

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