A Home Energy Story

July/August 2005
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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July 01, 2005
        Every home has a story. When my family and I moved into our home in 1989, and for the next several years thereafter, we received all of our electricity from the power grid and paid hefty utility bills. Now we give back to the grid and pay only a small amount to the utilities. Our split-level, 2,700 ft2 home in San Jose, California houses our family of two grade school children, a stayat- home mom, and me, a businessman dad. The four-bedroom, three-bath home met the required energy standards at the time, which included insulation in all the perimeter walls, floors, and ceilings and double- glazed windows. We had two 72% efficient natural gas furnaces and a gas water heater. Cooking and laundry used electricity exclusively. In addition, we installed insulation within the ceilings and within the walls between rooms, primarily to make the home quieter.         Over the years we did several things to reduce our energy consumption. We put solar-reflective film on our southand west-facing windows. We changed out nearly all our incandescent bulbs for fluorescent lights or light-emitting diode (LED) lights. We added an attic fan above the bedrooms ...

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