Homeowners’ behavior critical to energy efficiency of homes

Experts say saving energy can be as simple as modifying a motion detector

May 01, 2014

How people’s actions affect the energy efficiency of their homes is critical to the home’s overall efficiency performance, said experts at Rocky Mountain Green, a meeting of the Colorado chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. An estimated 40 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. is linked to commercial and residential buildings, and 28 percent of that stems from the actions of the building occupants, said Frank Rukavina, sustainability director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo.

Energy savings can be achieved by simple measures, said Jerry Tinianow, the chief sustainability officer for Denver. “If you change the default on the motion detector, so that the light doesn’t automatically flip on when you walk into a room, that can save energy because the occupant has to make a decision to turn on the light,” Tinianow said.

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