Website Computes Home Energy
Use and Savings

October 23, 1998

By Monica Friedlander,

Ever wonder why your neighbor's energy bills are lower than yours even though you seem to do everything right to save energy? Would you like to know how much of your utility bill you can blame on your home computer? Now the answer to these and other critical energy saving dilemmas is only a click away.

Home Energy Savings website

Energy Advisor: Analyze your home for energy savings

Hidden costs of home energy use

Energy Librarian: Home energy savings resources

The first Internet-based tool for calculating energy use in residential buildings -- the Home Energy Saver website -- helps consumers identify the best means and resources to save energy in their homes. The project, developed at Berkeley Lab by researchers in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, was initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the national Energy Star program for improving energy efficiency in homes. The program is operated by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Users can use the site to quickly compute their home's energy use based on different variables, such as heating, cooling, major appliances, and lighting. The computer estimates how much energy and money can be saved and how much pollution can be prevented by implementing energy-efficiency improvements.

The website also offers instant comparison of energy use in 11 parts of the country and can calculate energy use in a particular city based on a detailed description of the home provided by the user.

A reference ("Librarian") page connects users to a large array of related resources on the Internet, including product information, residential utility programs, energy software, home energy rating systems, financing information, and much more.

Finally, a FAQ page provides answers to frequently asked questions such as:

  • What's the most common mistake that people make in trying to save energy around the house?
  • Why are my neighbor's bills much lower than mine?
  • What's the single biggest user of electricity in my house?
  • How do I decide whether I should reinstall a heat pump or convert to natural gas?
  • Should I leave my computer on all the time, or turn it off when it is not in use?

For more information, see the Home Energy Savings site at You may also find useful information on related topics on the Environmental Energy Technologies Division's website, at

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