Excessive use of portable electric space heaters causes high electric bills. So we would like to lower or eliminate use of portable electric space heaters where possible.

This was a leading recommendation in this 2016 study on Minnesota homes, looking at how to substantially reduce energy use in homes.  Here is the article from Home Energy Magazine:

When Above Average is Not Good Enough

Here is the final report:

Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Homes with High Usage

This study found that 12% of homes had evidence that portable space heaters were used! RECS data from EIA suggests that use is even more prevalent in low income households.  What are you finding in your program/ among your customers??

Ways to lower use of portable heaters include (1) improving the shell (air sealing, insulation) and HVAC systems so householders stay comfortable through more efficient whole house heating systems, without use of supplemental heaters and (2) educating residents on the true cost of these portable heaters so people voluntarily lower wasteful use.

Here are all the top recommendations of this report on best ways to save energy at home -

• Eliminate use of portable electric space heaters

Offset all electric heat with ductless minisplit HP systems

• Eliminate continuous furnace-fan operation

• Upgrade interior lighting

• Replace electric water heater with gas

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