Interesting artice on energy conservation

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On Thursday, July 31, 2014 8:00:36 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

This guy kind of sets up a strawman, ie that folks believe any one energy saving area is going to make a big difference. And he's kind of gone the other way, implying none of it is worth it. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between. For example he says one study showed that programmable thermostats save 7% and another that they saved only $25 in a cold climate. If your heating bill is $2000, 7% or even half that is still something. I don't know anyone that thinks they are going to save 30% and I've never seen a credible source say anything like that. He claims Nest did, IDK what Nest claimed exactly, but I don't have a high opinion of Nest to begin with. To get that extraordinary number, they may be relying on the fact that it has a motion sensor and if you go away for a week and forget to turn the heat down, the smart thermostat will. In the real world, I think savings of the 7% seem more likely.
Another claim he makes is:
"For a while in the 1990s it seemed that if you bought new windows you could retire on the energy savings alone. Marketing was so successful that even today many believe it's their biggest savings opportunity." Again, IDK anyone that believes that. I'd say more insulation in an attic, if it's inadequate, will probably have the fastest payback.
And he says things like:
"This will likely only amount to about $5 to $15 savings per month. This is real savings, but it can get lost in the noise. Would you notice that kind of savings? I wouldn't."
If $5 to $15 per month from one energy saving item isn't good enough, you might as well forget about most energy savings, because you aren't likely to notice them individually in your monthly bill. But if you add up $15/mth here, $5/mth there, it can add up to make a real difference. Some of the things, I think he's probably right on, like spending a lot of money on new windows in the belief that it's going to pay for itself any time soon is likely a mistake.
And he also doesn't seem to have very much hard data at all.
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wrote:

Are your summer temperatures the same as last year?
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What size is your house and what temperature do you keep it? One of the major determinants I've seen is the temperature I keep my house (not surprisingly).
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I don't feel quite so bad now. My house is bigger and two story and a pool and I keep it mid to low 70's except during high cost hours (1 - 8) and my peak bill was just under $400 with a 16.5 seer unit. In winter it will drop to under $200. Wish I could get rid of the pool....
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