Home Energy Report: Age of Occupants Influences the Calculations

Many factors contribute to electricity consumption, including climate, building characteristics, and the number and age of the occupants.

Physical factors, such as climate, the size, age, and construction of each house, the number of occupants, and the amount and types of electrical appliances, are fairly straightforward.


InterNACHI’s Home Energy Report™ (see screen shot above) takes into account the age of the people living in the home. Based upon that data, the number of hours that a home is occupied and stage of life cycle (e.g., young singles, young families, families with teenagers, empty-nesters, and retired households) are factored into the home energy calculations, because the age of the occupants is influential in energy usage (Lutzenhiser and Bender 2008 ).

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This is a repost from the feedback thread:

I would really like to start using this, but I don’t feel comfortable with it. My hypothetical report on my home shows me a negative savings (see attachment). If the cooling cost after savings is more than before the savings, I think we have a problem.

How would we explain this to a customer?

What am I missing?

Do you leave your thermostat low?

I indicated in the data for the report that I have a programmable thermostat. I couldn’t find anywhere that it asked for the temperature setting.

Your right sorry I didn’t see the it was cooling. Did it recommend in your report to do any crawlspace insulating?

The only recommendations in the cooling section is to not leave the fan-auto switch on “fan” (I don’t do that anyway) and to consider a whole house fan. My house has no crawlspace, just a finished basement.

Conditioning a crawlspace or a basement will give you a negative result in cooling but you usually more than make up for it is savings on heating. So if the report is suggesting that this is where you would see a negative on the cooling.

I’ll take a look at your data. The accuracy of the Dept of Energy’s calculator has been documented. It’s accurate, but this particular report result seems to be related to the data entry, including efficiencies and thermal envelope. Accuracy study https://sites.google.com/a/lbl.gov/hes-public/accuracy found the tool to be extremely accurate (within 1% across groups of dissimilar homes), when given high-quality input.