08:07 AM

Perspective: Home Improvement

One of the TV shows I enjoyed watching years ago was “Home Improvement.” In the show, comedian Tim Allen’s character was always enjoying his family, cars—and of course—power tools. Every time I think of that show, I can still hear that grunt Allen’s character, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, made when exploring a new tool. If you’re familiar with the show, you’re probably thinking about that grunt right now too!

In the show, Tim was obsessed with building or modifying things around the home. He was always looking for ways to make household appliances or machines work harder or faster – leading to his catchphrase, “More power!”.

In reality, American households have been, on average, using less electricity to power their heating and air conditioning systems, appliances and electronics in their homes since the mid-1990s. Sorry, Tim!

You may be wondering how energy use per household has declined when it seems like we have more appliances, electronics and possibly even more tools than Tim would have had in the 1990s. Well, we’ve improved our homes.

For starters, many new homes are made with better materials and insulation to improve a home’s energy efficiency. Building homes with more energy efficient windows, heating and cooling systems, and using tighter construction techniques to keep air flowing within homes means residents need less energy to heat and cool their homes. We partner with builders to build RightChoice™ homes that are energy efficient.

Next, newer equipment in our homes – like heating and cooling systems, and water heaters – along with appliances, electronics and lighting all use less energy than previous decades. For example, an ENERGY STAR®-certified LED lightbulb uses at least 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. If you’re looking to buy one of these items, consider buying an ENERGY STAR®-certified product to reduce your energy use. This issue of JEMCO News has advice on buying a smart thermostat – which can also help you save energy in your home.

Finally, we’re doing a better job with our habits to save energy. Steps like turning off the lights when you leave a room and running the dishwasher only with a full load of dishes are helping to reduce our energy use. Jackson EMC has always helped educate members about how to save energy, including tips you can find in JEMCO News, on our website and social media.Tim the Tool Man wanted more power to improve his home. The truth is, new building materials and the items inside our homes that use electricity have become more efficient to help us save energy – which is something to grunt about!