First, you should know that we have found someone with consistently great report cards from PSE. Not just great, Tom of the Kirkland Highlands is typically #3 out of 100. Big round of applause to Tom!! I am amazed and impressed. So now we know it is possible. But how, you ask? Here's what Tom had to share with us:
"Until last fall my daughter Hannah and I lived in the Kirkland Highlands in a 1700sf 2 story daylight basemnent house built in 1969 with 4 bedrooms (small) and 1.75 bathrooms. The house has GREAT passive solar, which I believe really helps with keeping it warm in the winter, even on our dark days. We keep the programmable thermostat low at night (59) and about 64 when we are here. We have a tankless gas water heater, a gas furnace, and double pane windows. I think it also helps that a part of the house is below grade (4') so that helps hold in the heat and keeps it cool.My daughter has since moved away to college, and I haven't received a report in awhile. Hope this helps, and good luck motivating your kids - they like to see the improvement and we found the quarterly reports to be a good incentive (plus we kept trying to move up to # 1)."
I have since shared our report with our children so I can get them on board. Long hot showers and leaving lights on are the vices we need to break them from along with throwing every item of clothing in the laundry even if it's been worn for 15 minutes. I cannot turn my thermostat down to 59 or even 64 because I'm pretty sure that frozen nipple replacement surgery for a family of 5 is more expensive than power. But we are motivated to get a better report card next time.
I also received an official response from PSE- feel free to comment away- sounds like they are listening... Here is what they had to say:
My name is Dennis Rominger and I’m one of the energy efficiency experts at PSE. These Home Energy Reports are one of the programs that I manage. I wanted to thank you for starting a healthy conversation about energy use in people’s homes. This is one of the fundamental reasons why we have started experimenting with these private mailers to our customers…. To draw out their reactions, and perhaps spur some persistent action inside homes to lower energy bills especially in these winter months
We love having customers like you and your readers who take such extraordinary measures to safeguard our energy future, and can serve as evangelists to get us all using energy more efficiently. Regrettably, there is a large percentage of our customers who have yet to get on the bandwagon, and we need to turn them into believers as well.
We are taking a lot of customer comments on these mailers into account during this experiment, and we are learning at lot about how our customers respond to a bit of peer pressure when it comes to making choices about how to use energy. We realize that the comparisons aren’t necessarily apples to apples, but at least there is enough relative comparison to a radius of your neighbors --- so that it might trigger some quick attention on your family’s habits, or at the very least, make “energy efficient” top of mind for next equipment purchase you make.
For the comparisons, admittedly we don’t know everything about your home, occupants, or household activities. The information we have was received from county records and PSE account information. This includes home type, size, heating fuel source, and location. This information is sometimes incorrect because the county records aren’t always up-to-date. To assure the most accurate comparison, you can update your info by visiting www.psereports.com. This might correct any inconsistencies that you feel are preventing you from a proper comparison. You are always free to opt out too. But, we hope you don’t.
Please continue to spread the energy efficiency gospel – and if you or your readers need any ideas on the choices you can make in your daily lives, visit PSE.com/re-energize, or call one of our Energy Advisors at 1-800-562-1482. Keep those critiques coming.... we learn best when we "hear" the conversations.