Finding out you use tons of electricity

What if you got a letter in the mail that informed you that, relative to your neighbors, you were kind of an energy hog? I heard from a reader, Elizabeth McCullough, about a Home Energy Report she received from Dominion that was, she said, "shocking—pun intended." It said that she uses 70 percent more electricity than her neighbors.

I hadn’t seen these reports, since I happen to live outside Dominion’s service area (we get our power through a co-op, which is kind of cool). Elizabeth tells me that it included a "neighbor comparison," which sizes up her usage compared with 100 similar nearby homes. The report also shows her how she stacks up against her 20 most efficient neighbors, who she says seem to use amazingly small amounts of power.

Interestingly, Elizabeth did her own neighbor comparison on microsoft-hohm.com, which lets you enter 12 months’ worth of energy bills and compare with neighbors one address at a time, and reached different conclusions than Dominion had. "We use a bit more electricity than the average for our ZIP but not 70 percent more," she writes.

Anyone else taken aback by a Home Energy Report from Dominion? Anyone made changes in response to one of these?

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