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Cool House, Fat Wallet

COOL HOUSE, FAT WALLET How To Run the A/C Full Blast Without Paying for It More Americans are using air Significantly more people are using air conditioning today. 55% conditioning than ever before, but that doesn't necessarily mean 27% 2001 1980 their electricity bills are spiking. Especially in the Midwest and the South. Households with Central Air Con ditioning 1978 1987 1997 9% MIDWEST 22% 16% 24% 14% 32% 51% NORTH EAST WEST 25% 28% 70% 52% 37% SOUTH Significantly more people are consuming lots of electricity Household Electricity Consumption (2001) 27% 16% 10% 9% 7% 7% 8% 5% 2% Other Other End Uses Kitchen Air Space Heating Water Нome Laundry HVAC Appliances Conditioning Heating Lighting Electronics Appliances Appliances Equipment Homeowners With Solar Stay Cool One Block Off the Grid recently ran a poll to see how much homeown- ers are using air conditioning these days and whether solar powered homes differ from their grid-fired counterparts. Here's what we found. 64% Have central air Have an A/C unit Don't own an air conditioner 87% 13% 36% 12% 38% 36% Primarily use grid power Primarily use solar power for home electricity for home electricity Home Owners Renters Percent of homeowners who said air conditioning raises their electricity bill by more than $50 a month: 20% O 9% Homeowners with grid power Homeowners with solar power During hotter months Average guilt when running air conditioning (10 being guiltiest) Use A/C every day or nearly every day Use A/C rarely (a few days a month) 5.8 5.6 Use A/C here and there (a few days a week) Never 44% 22% Respondents with solar power 18% Respondents with grid power 18% Hot But Not Bothered Ten percent of poll takers said they don't use air conditioning at all. Here are the top five reasons they listed, in descending order. It doesn't get that 1. hot where I live 2. It's not good for the environment 3. It feels unnatural/ 4. i prefer heat • It's too expensive Cool Comments from Poll takers With Solar. "Our solar array provides about 60% of the power consumed by the air condi- tioner. We feel less guilty." "A/C cost and its environmental impact was a major driver for getting solar." "I do animal rescue, so I can't let the house get "We actually may install central air conditioning. While it's rarely hot enough in our coastal above 85 degrees or the house rabbits, hamsters, location, there are maybe 10-15 days a year when it would be nice. Now that we have solar panels, and cats (or whatever I'm fostering at the moment) could get heat stroke. I used to feel more guilt about the electricity use won't be an issue" running the A/C, but my solar panels fixed that!" "We have solar panels and our bill this month was $22. 67 after an entire month of full blast air. This is in New Jersey, with obscenely high electricity rates!" Sources: Energy Information Administration 1BOG.org group discounts on solar

Cool House, Fat Wallet

shared by ColumnFive on Aug 25
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More Americans are using air conditioning than ever before, but that doesn't mean their electricity bills are spiking.

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Technology
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