As Americans it seems we just can’t get enough electrical appliances. We’ve got one to open the coffee can, one to perk the coffee, one to wash the coffee cups, one to keep the cream cold, and one to toast the bagel to just the proper crunchy softness that we like. Uh-oh! The cream cheese is a bit hard. No worries – pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and breakfast is ready.
As you tally up all the appliances it took just to make coffee and a bagel with cream cheese it hits you that there is a lot of electrical use in the kitchen. Don’t forget the ceiling lights! Naturally you spill your coffee on your freshly pressed shirt when the dog jumps up on you as you are gazing at the ceiling lights and suddenly you need to throw the shirt into the washer and dryer. Oops! More electrical appliances.
After changing into a clean shirt you take your coffee and bagel to your favorite chair near the TV and pop the news on for a quick check while logging into your laptop to check email. Your cell phone sits quietly on the table next to you, recharged and ready to go.
As you let the dog out into the backyard the motion detector light pops on and you make a mental note to adjust the timer on that now that it is light earlier. After putting a roast into the crockpot to cook on low all day you set the alarm, lock the door and head off to work. But what is it that your house is doing? Adjusting to all that activity this morning!
Every appliance that uses electricity also produces heat. The PHPP takes an inventory of all these appliances and actions and considers just how much heat is being generated based on usage so it can add it to your heat tally and it is calculating how much energy is being used for activities that are not heat specific so that it can add that to your Primary Energy allowance. Just how that usage is considered is all sorted out “under the hood” of the PHPP. You just need to tell it what appliances and lighting you are using and it does the hard work for you.
As you fill in the Electricity Worksheet in the PHPP, pour yourself another cup of coffee and be honest with your usage. It might just encourage you to make some changes that will put that PE allowance in just the right light.