I'm trying to find a cost-effective solution to track reductions in energy use for residential energy efficiency improvements (the information to be tracked includes property information, historical energy usage, monthly energy usage after improvement, weather-normalized data and carbon offsets). I have heard that Longjump provided a great tracking tool, but it is now part of a larger solution (AgileApps) that might be more than I need for tracking the energy data. I've also looked at the EnergyCAP solution. Are there others I should be considering?
You can try WegoWise. If you're just tracking one house it's free. Added bonus--for many utility companies it can pull in data directly from the homeowner's online utility accounts, both historical data and the monthly data moving forward. Full disclosure--I work for them.
Thanks Sean! Does WegoWise work with Duke Energy yet? Can you track more than one house?
Yes, we can automatically import from Duke Energy! We can definitely track more than one house at our Pro level of service, which isn't free but is pretty reasonable at $12/house/year. I don't want to turn your thread into a sales pitch, so I'll message you with more info.
You may be looking for a more automated approach, but here is what I use for identifying energy effieincy improvements that have been made to homes.
I work for the energy efficiency department of our electric utility and we use a simple spreadsheet to plot the average monthly energy consumed versus the average monthly temperature for each month. This normalizes the home's energy consumption for weather variations and the number of billing days. The energy used in a typical home will typically line up quite nicely when plotted in this fashion, and any variation can be easily identified.
Below are two plots of the average energy use versus average monthly temperature. Average daily temperatures for your specific site can be found at http://www.weatherdatadepot.com/. I plot electrical usage in terms of average Watts per square foot, and natural gas usage in terms of average BTU per hour.
The average temperature plot below was used to see if there were any improvements from installing a high efficiency gas furnace. This data showed that there does not appear to be any significant reduction in gas usage.
Thanks James! We are tracking a few houses in Excel right now and I am looking for a more automated approach for the long term, but I really like your graphs. I may have to see if I can get my Excel data to do that. Thank you!!
It's a little tough to argue with the utility meter (after weather normalizing).
It's pretty old school, but I've used this: http://www.marean.mycpanel.princeton.edu/~marean/default.html in the past for looking at energy impacts for several hundred homes at a time. It's a bit labor intensive, but less expensive if you plan on looking at many homes (100+).
Thanks Dan, I'll look into it!