Energy Use and Savings Computed on Berkeley Lab Website
-- Homeowners can save hundreds of dollars per year on their energy
bills. How? By using the Home Energy Saver website at http://HomeEnergySaver.lbl.gov.
by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the Home Energy Saver (HES)
website brings advanced building simulation software to interactive
World Wide Web pages to help consumers identify the technologies
that will save them the most energy and money. By logging onto
this site, you can, for example, quickly determine how much money
you would save by installing insulation in your attic, and where
you would find the best products and a good contractor to do the
HES site is divided into two main sections, "Energy Adviser"
and "Making it Happen." Energy Advisor computes a home's
total energy use based on information that you enter. Once you
supply your zip code, Energy Advisor will show you the energy
use, bills, or energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for your
area's typical house, and a comparable energy-efficient house.
You can then answer a set of basic questions about your own house,
including its floor area, the number of occupants, type of heating
and air conditioning equipment, and fuel prices, to get a custom-tailored
energy bill breakdown. The more information entered, the more
these recommendations become tailored to the house.
Adviser also provides a customized set of energy-saving improvements
for your house. These improvements cover all of your home's major
energy-using systems: space heating and cooling, water heating,
lighting, major appliances, and a host of 'miscellaneous' appliances
that are an increasingly important factor in residential energy
It Happen provides time-saving links to hundreds of Internet sites
with practical, detailed information about energy-efficient homes,
products, service providers, utility programs, and on-line reading
materials. An Answer Desk feature provides answers to frequently
asked questions about home energy use in terms that the average
homeowner can understand. This module also provides context-sensitive
help and email access to energy experts who answer questions from
Home Energy Saver represents a fundamental departure from previous
energy calculators because it is Web-based. The site brings together
in one user-friendly package the analytical capabilities of many
sophisticated calculation methods," says Evan Mills, Home
Energy Saver project leader and a researcher in Berkeley Lab's
Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD).
would take a user months to learn how to use each program separately.
The site overcomes the limitations of traditional disk-based software
tools, since the power of the Web allows us to implement frequent
software and interface upgrades, provide a hospitable environment
for both PC and Mac users, and offer a rich array of consumer
decision-support information through links to useful related web
sites. And since it is Web-based, there is no software to install.
Until now, tools like this have been beyond the reach of ordinary
consumers. This is a big step forward from the static, generic
information normally provided to consumers," Mills explains.
Rich Brown, EETD researcher and Home Energy Saver's production
manager, "HES performs heating and cooling calculations using
DOE-2, a building energy simulation program developed at Berkeley
Lab. Although it's considered the most accurate and powerful program
among professional engineers and architects for building energy
simulation, until now DOE-2 required extensive training and fast
computers. The other energy calculations in HES are also based
on models and data from years of research at Berkeley Lab on how
people use energy in their homes, for example, the types of appliances
and equipment in homes, as well as use patterns. Because HES tailors
its results to each house, it helps consumers understand how energy
is used in his or her own home compared to local averages and
the best ways to reduce that usage."
are advised that high traffic volume on the HES site occasionally
may cause delays or temporary site unavailability. In this event,
they should wait a few minutes before trying again. The Berkeley
Lab development team is improving the site and adding computing
power to handle the growing load of HES users.
Lab researchers developed the HES Internet site for the ENERGY
STAR Program, an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and DOE.
Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California.
It conducts unclassified research and is managed by the University