Energy Evaluation Worksheet

JEA is a non-profit and it is important to us to make sure end users are cognizant of ways to reduce energy use, both to keep rates low and to reduce our impact on the environment. This guide provides JEA customers with a simple, economical way to evaluate their home energy use and to learn how to save on their bills. It is not intended as a replacement for professional advice.

If at any time during the evaluation you feel uncomfortable performing a task, do not perform it!
Your safety and welfare always comes first.

Items of particular concern:

  • Asbestos - a gray or white fibrous material found around pipes, ducts, heating equipment, and vermiculite insulation. Asbestos is dangerous, especially when it becomes air-borne. Do not interact with anything you suspect contains asbestos and discontinue that portion of the audit.
  • Fiberglass – a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass found in insulation. It is a known human carcinogen when inhaled. Use goggles, a mask, gloves, and long sleeves.
  • Wiring – Electricity can not be seen, so always turn of electricity at the breaker before working in the vicinity of wires to avoid electrical shock.
  • Mold – Excessive moisture in the home can lead to mold growth; however, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Consult a professional or the EPA pamphlet “A Guide to Mold and Moisture in your Home.”

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Collect your JEA utility bills for the past year (visit jea.com, or call 904-665-6000). The first column is for the months of the year. Enter the kilowatt hour total (kwh) consumption for each month in column 2. Follow the directions to calculate your Base and HVAC loads.

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
Month Total Consumption Base Load
(calculated below)
HVAC Load
(Total Consumption - Base Load)
Totals: add all 12

Base load calculation: Find the two lowest total consumption numbers from column 2. Add them together and divide by 2. This is your approximate Base load. Place that number in each cell in column 3, except the last cell (total cell).

+ = ÷ 2 =
lowest from column 2   next lowest from column 2   total   monthly base load
for column 3

HVAC load calculation: For each month, subtract the base load from total consumption (Column 2 - Column 3).This is the approximate amount of energy used for heating and cooling that month (Column 4). If the number is negative, put it in anyway, you'll need that for your total. Sometimes it can be negative.

Totals: Add all 12 months up in each column. These are the annual usages for each column.


Calculate your electricity rate: Refer to page 6 of the guide and determine your electric rate.
As the rate is the same for each month, choose any billing month and divide your “total current electric charges” by the “kwh consumption.”

÷ = $
total current
electric charges
  kwh
consumption
  rate for electricity
($/kwh)

Calculating annual costs: Multiply the total consumption values by the electric rate you pay. This is your total annual cost, your annual cost for heating and cooling, and your annual cost for base loads.

× = $
total from column 2   rate   total annual cost
× = $
total from column 3   rate   annual cost for base load
÷ 12 = $
annual cost for base load   monthly cost for base load
× = $
total from column 4   rate   annual cost for
heating and cooling

Calculate the ratio for heating and cooling: Divide the total for HVAC from column 4 by the total annual consumption from column 2. This will give you the percentage of your total usage that goes to heating and cooling the home.

÷ = × (100) = %
total from column 4   total from column 2   decimal #   percent for HVAC

Air leakage inspection: Eliminating air leaks can lead to a savings of 5%-30% of costs per year. Check your home for holes or cracks around walls and ceilings and for gaps around fixtures, switches, outlets, etc. Also check air supply and return vents, exhaust fans, and fireplaces. Use weather stripping, foam, caulk, etc. to seal leaks found in inspection. (see Guide Book for a leak locating method).

Inspect and measure the attic insulation: Measure the depth of attic insulation at an average spot and multiply it by the R-Value/per inch for the insulation type (recommended R-Value should be R-40 or greater). Take the infrared thermometer and walk around the home and take the temperature of the exterior walls and ceilings and see if you can find any variation to isolate weak insulation.

× =
insulation
depth in inches
  effective R-value per inch   R-value


Typically 40% of an annual energy bill goes toward heat & AC. Use the infrared thermometer to measure the temperature at the return grill, usually larger grill or bottom of the air handler, and the supply registers (smaller grills). The difference should be between 14-22 degrees. Any temperature differences are indications of performance problems that warrant a visit from a professional.

All systems can be made more efficient through proper maintenance (an inefficient system can waste as much as 30-50% of energy). Consult manuals, change filters regularly, and have a professional. Inspect ducts and vents cut into ceilings or walls for dirt streaks, especially near joints as these indicate leaks. These leaks should be sealed with duct mastic, not duct tape.

= (should be 14-22 degrees)
return
temperature
  supply
temperature
  differential
temperature
   

Inspect your duct system and filter(s): See pages 36 and 110 of the Consumer Reports book.


Place the Hygro-Thermometer in different rooms around the home for 24 hours and check the max/min humidity levels (should be between 40-60%). The temperature against the thermostat setting should vary by no more than 3 degrees. Proper attic or crawl space ventilation is critical for keeping dry air circulating in the attic. Leaky ducts, small ducts, window space, excessive sunlight, moisture filtration, etc. may be to blame.


This last step disaggregates the base load determined above.

Water heating: Water Heaters are typically the second largest energy expense. To limit hot water use, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater and pipes, buy a more efficient heater, or just use less hot water! Use the infrared thermometer to make sure the hot water at the faucet closest to the heater is below 120°F. The backpack does not have instruments to measure this load. Approximate the water heater base load percentage by assuming an initial 20% of the base load for one person and 5% for each additional person.

× 5 + 15 = ÷ 100 = × =
number
of people
  household %   decimal #   monthly
base load
  monthly water
heating energy

Kill-A-Watt meter usage: This kit comes with three Kill-A-Watt meters. Plug one into the TV entertainment center, one into the fridge, and a third into another appliance that you feel uses a lot of electricity. Leave the meter in for 4-7 days and read the total kw hours used. Mark the date and time of each reading and divide the KWH consumed by the total number of days that have passed. Multiple meters are included to monitor appliances simultaneously. Instructions for the Kill-A-Watt meter are in the front pocket of the backpack and can also be found online at P3 International.

  • Refrigerators consume 7% of energy bills while a washer/dryer can take 10%. Use the Kill-A-Watt EZ meter to measure the consumption of each appliance.
  • To measure consumption of a washer/dryer, run an entire load, then multiply by the average number of monthly loads.
  • Ensure that freezers are occasionally defrosted and that the seals on doors are functioning (should tightly secure a piece of paper if inserted into the gap).
  • Other Household Equipment: Just because a switch is "OFF" does not mean a device isn’t drawing power. VCRs, TVs, stereos, computers, clocks, etc all draw current. These loads, have a cumulative effect. Avoid these "phantom loads" by using a power strip and switching it off when the appliances are not in use.

The dates should be entered in MM/DD/YY HH:MM am/pm format.
So, 9:27 am on March 14th 2015 would be "3/14/15 9:27 am"

Once you have determined the approximate kwh per month that these individual appliances and devices are using, subtract it from your monthly base load and see what's left.

Lighting Load: Lighting is the fastest way to cut energy costs. 10% of the average energy budget is dedicated to lighting, and this can be reduced by using smaller wattage bulbs. High watt bulbs can be replaced with lower wattage bulbs, compact fluorescent, or LEDs. Timers, photocells, and motion sensors can also be used to control consumption. Two methods can be used for calculating lighting consumption. You can take 10% of your total lighting consumption and divide by 12 for a monthly estimate. Or count up the light bulbs around your home and read their wattages. Try to determine the runtimes for the lights and multiply that time their wattages, then multiply that value by thirty (days) and divide by 1000 for an approximate monthly KWH usage.

total lighting load
(kwh per month)

Once you have determined the approximate kwh per month that these individual appliances and devices are using, subtract it from your monthly base load and see what's left.

- - - =
base load   water heating   appliances/devices   lighting load   what's left