What's New at the Home Energy Saver
Home Energy Saver 2.0! We have relaunched the Home Energy Saver. Enjoy the new-and-improved user interface, major data updates, and a ten-times improvement in run time. Keep your eyes open for new features in the coming months.
We're on cloud 9(99999999): We have migrated all HES infrastructure to a cloud computing platform, which provides virtually perfect reliability, scalability, and improved performance.
Runtime cut 90%. Thanks to our crack programmers, the 40-second runtimes that HES users may have become (somewhat) used to, have been slashed to about 4 seconds.
6 million and counting. The 6-millionth person visited HES in January 2010.
Home Energy Saver Pro: We have created a new version of Home Energy Saver for building professionals: HESpro. It currently has limited functionality, but you will see a lot of changes in the coming months.
Now THAT's Stimulating: HES to receive substantial funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka "Stimulus" program) to revitalize and expand the site, as well as launch a new version for professionals.
5 million and counting: The 5-millionth person visited HES in December 2008
Are you on the (carbon) map? Carbon footprints for HES users in every zip code of the nation have been averaged for display on this map.
Work-arounds: While the Home Energy Saver is the most comprehensive home energy model available on the web, there are inevitably specific systems or features that we have not yet explicitly incorporated. In some cases, there are reasonable work-arounds that the user can use to approximate the energy use of such features or systems.
4 million, and counting: In October, 2007 Home Energy Saver received its 4-millionth visitor. Current traffic is coming in at the rate of about 1 million per year.
Upgrade Me! We are proud to launch a major new module, which provides detailed ranked retrofit recommendations. Our former approach was only suggestive, and did not quantify savings or cost effectiveness. The new feature — which you will find presented at the end of each run — offers a detailed list of customized upgrades, ranked by payback time. Users can modify the assumptions (efficiency level, measure cost, and allowable payback time) and the list will recalculate. The results are accompanied with a detailed printable recommendation report, complete with links to more information.
3 million and counting: The 3-millionth person visited HES in September 2006.
Seeing Double: In response to popular demand, we have added a feature that allows you to duplicate an existing session. This is a big time saver if you want to do "what-if" studies and not have to enter identical information on to create two separate session IDs. You can reach the new feature under the "General" tab from within the house-description area of the site.
Specify High Efficiency: Now, for a number of end uses, you can specify the level of efficiency (instead of being stuck with defaults). Specifically, you can specify if you have an ENERGY STAR labeled DVD, VCR, TV, CD, Fax, Electronic Air cleaner, dehumidifier, water cooler, refrigerators, dishwasher, clothes washer.
Small Appliances, Big Upgrades: You can now specify more types of small appliances, and more than one of each type, plus the exact amount of time used (from one minute per year to continuously). You can also specify unusual electric or gas appliances, if the house has something that is not covered by one of the pre-defined ones.
Pumps - well, well: We've added a new module for well pumps (found under the Major Appliances tab).
2 million and counting: The 2-millionth person visited HES in March 2005.
Your House in a Nutshell: The House Configuration report is now comprehensive, providing a compact description of all of the major features of the home you've entered into the site. You can reach this report more easily now; just click the blue button labeled "House Configuration" below the bar chart showing the results.
Hot and Cold: We've made a number of improvements "under the hood", including better heating and cooling calculation methods. For example, we now use an improved duct model based on ASHRAE Standard 152, and offer a number of new wall construction types. You can now specify different kinds of doors and window shadings (and their insulation levels) for each side of the house. You'll also find a number of new weather locations, and better mapping of specific zip codes to the nearest available "weather city" to be used in calculating heating and cooling consumption.
Data Updates: We've updated the vintage data for all fridges, freezers, furnaces, and air conditioners. Also, you can now choose a year-made for the water heater (which will set a more realistic default efficiency). Now you can select more appliances purchased as recently as 2005
How it All Works: For those who are interested in the engineering details, we have updated our major documentation reports which describe the methods and data underlying the Home Energy Saver's calculations. Contact us for more information.
1 million and counting: The 1-millionth person visited HES in December 2002.