Electricity Prices Rise Again!

2017 residential rates rose 2.8% after a brief decline the prior year, according to the latest data from EIA.  The average US residential rate was 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017. While 5 states (including our home state of Maryland) saw rates decline – others (AL, DC, IA, HI, MI, NM, FL) saw rates increase more than 5%. Hawaii pays the highest rates in the country at 29.5 cents, and saw their rates increase 7.4% last year.
Solar continues to be an attractive option in an environment where electricity prices continue to rise.
Savenia Solar Ratings use this data and more to calculate the full value of solar systems nationwide for solar installers and home sellers.

Happy Thanksgiving from Savenia Labs

At Savenia Labs, we have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Just over 1 year ago, we brought our energy rating labels into retail stores – enabling shoppers to make energy efficient purchasing decisions on many products for the very first time.  Since then, we’ve expanded to 11 more stores in 3 states, multiplying the impact consumers are having every day by buying more efficient, cheaper-to-run appliances.  We’ve also expanded our ratings database from 3 appliance categories to covering 9 by year end.

We couldn’t have done this without the support of so many people and organizations in the DC metro region and beyond- retail stores, business partners, non-profits, universities and many others.  Thank you!

Lastly, thanks to our hundreds of facebook fans and twitter followers, newsletter and blog readers for reading our posts, giving us feedback, and telling your friends about Savenia Labs.

Your efforts have helped to educate people on how to save energy, money, and cut pollution in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.  For more tips on how to save over the holidays, check our Thanksgiving savings tips from last year.

March Energy Saving Madness!

As the country switches to basketball fever and the days get longer – how about teaming up with Savenia Labs to take a few shots at saving money on energy during March Madness?

Savenia Labs challenges you to our version of the Big Dance. Can you make it to the Sweet Sixteen or a National Championship? Dance your way through each round. The farther you go – the more money you keep in your pocket and out of the electric bill. As the tournament progresses, check back here to see if you advance to the next round.

National Champion

Save $2,200 – MVP!  Make Your Own Energy – Cut your entire utility bill by installing your own solar, wind, or geothermal energy system. Check in to tax incentives and grant programs through your local utility or county; in Montgomery County check MyGreenMontgomery for more information.

Championship Game

Save $450 – Triple Double!  Use Savenia Labs Energy Ratings to Buy Energy Efficient Appliances – Save up to $450 in energy over the lifetime of a coffeemaker.  You can find Savenia Labs Energy Ratings at participating stores here.

Final 4

Save $300 – 3 Pointer! Shop around for lower energy prices.  In Montgomery County you can save money AND switch to cleaner wind energy suppliers like Clean Currents.  Savenia Labs uses Clean Currents wind power for our operations, and so does Strosniders True Value Hardware – the best place to buy Savenia Labs Energy Rated Appliances.

Elite 8

Save $200 – Jump Shot!  Air Seal and Insulate your Home – Act on your Energy Audit and turn your house into an Energy Efficient Superstar to save over $200 per year.  You can buy lots of supplies at Strosniders True Value Hardware, and while there have a look at Savenia Labs Energy Rated toaster ovens to heat the pizza without heating up the house in the summer.

Sweet 16

Save $$$ – Get an easy assist.  Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home – Find out where your home is leaking money and where you can save.  The cost is often covered by your local utility or county.  Check mygreenmontgomery.org or your local county for more information.  You can buy caulking, insulation and other things including Savenia Labs Energy Rated appliances at Strosniders True Value Hardware.

Round of 32

Save $150 – Here’s a free throw.  Slay the Vampire – Eliminate the energy usage that’s not doing anything for you and save $100-$200 per year.  Unplug your DVR and wide screen TVs when you go to bed, or buy a shut off timer.  You can find these at Strosniders True Value Hardware.  Check out the selection of Savenia Labs Energy Rated coffeemakers without clocks, or fully loaded models with low energy usage.

Round of 64

Save $50 – This is a layup. Upgrade one incandescent bulb to a Compact Fluorescent Light bulb. The math is pretty simple – bulbs last 8x longer, use less energy and many are covered by a 2-year manufacturer warranty. You can get them at Strosniders True Value Hardware. While you’re there, check out the selection of Savenia Labs Energy Rated small appliances and magnify your savings!

Savenia Labs Energy Ratings Confirmed by Top 20 Accounting Firm Reznick Group

We are delighted to announce that the Reznick Group, a Top 20 Accounting firm based in Bethesda, MD has audited and confirmed Savenia Labs Energy Ratings data for 3 appliance categories. This audit, which was conducted in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, included verification that the Savenia Labs methodology was applied consistently to all appliances in the selected appliance category.  A summary of the audit report is available on our website here.

We asked Reznick Group to audit our data because consumers are concerned with greenwashing – companies making claims about the environmental impact of their products without sufficient factual or scientific evidence.  Even though Savenia Labs is already an independent testing laboratory that buys and tests every product ourselves, without manufacturer donations or consent, we decided to go further and have our Energy Ratings externally audited.

We aim to be the company you can rely on for appliance energy and environmental impact information, based on high quality work and lack of bias. This audit, together with the audit we completed to become Bethesda, Maryland’s first Benefit Corporation, and the results of our environmental reports are part of our commitment to transparency in serving the public interest.  For a complete list of our audit reports see the Mission / CSR section of our website here.

$3.5m Halloween Porch Lights – Now That’s Scary!

$3.5 million. That’s how much we estimate Americans who still use traditional bulbs will spend tonight from 6-9pm on their incandescent porch lights for trick-or-treaters. The power plants that produce this electricity will fill 350,000 gasoline tanker trucks with air pollution over this 3 hour period. If Americans switched to CFL lights the numbers drop by 75%, and the bulbs last 8x longer. Now that’s a real treat for Halloween!

Addendum November 2 2011

After this post we received a number of questions, comments from consumers who had problems with CFL lights breaking before the end of their advertised life. We did some research on this and found that all Energy Star qualified light bulbs are required to offer a manufacturer warranty of 2 years to consumers. (For more information click here: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_warranty). You may need to keep your receipt to take advantage of these warranties – contact your retailer or the manufacturer for details.

Prices for more efficient light bulbs have fallen dramatically over the past few years so you can now get a CFL for under $2 each (for a 60 watt equivalent).


Savenia Labs Becomes First Bethesda-Based Certified B Corporation

Savenia Labs has become the first Bethesda-based Certified B (Benefit) Corporation, joining the community of companies that meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. B Lab (www.bcorporation.net), a non-profit national certifying organization recognized by the State of MD has certified Savenia Labs’ public benefit status after conducting a rigorous audit of our business processes and practices.

By helping individuals and businesses learn more about the energy usage of household products before they buy, we’re helping them save money.  We’re also helping them save energy and reduce harmful pollution.  As consumers change their buying behavior, manufacturers will design more efficient products that save even more.

We’re proud to be a Certified B Corporation.  In just over three years, there are already over 425 Certified B Corporations from over 50 industries, representing $2 billion in collective revenues and $6.5 billion in capital under management. The performance standards set by B Lab are comprehensive and transparent,  measuring a company’s impact on its employees, suppliers, community, and the environment.  Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment.

To access your public benefit from Savenia Labs in advance of our fall launch, follow us on Facebook to win a new Energy Rated appliance – or read our blog where you can get our newest research ‘Straight from the Lab’.

What We’re Reading: Active Vampire Energy

Here at Savenia Labs, we’ve written a fair amount about Vampire Energy – the energy your electronics waste when you’re not even using them.  For some devices – cell phones in particular – there’s a more active form of vampire energy.  Many cell phones keep their functionality turned on all the time – Bluetooth, wifi, GPS, and a bright screen – many of which you don’t need access to every second of the day.  So your phone goes on using energy to power those functions you don’t need.  Katie Fehrenbacher from GigaOM tells us of a great new app for some HTC phones – PowerMax which turns off these features to reduce base energy usage without affecting the functionality of the phone.

For those other vampire power users in your home, here’s some advice on how to stop wasting energy.  The easiest way to stake the vampire in your house is to buy products that use less vampire power by design.  Look for products that save you energy this fall from Savenia Labs.

We’re Here!

After two years of intense research, dozens of meetings with industry experts, thousands of hours of research and development, hundreds of household appliances, and this blog post, Savenia Labs is here.  We began working in 2009 to transform the way individuals and businesses think about choosing products – so they can make better-informed decisions that save energy and money.

For cutting edge lab research and energy savings information before our launch in fall 2011, follow Savenia Labs on FacebookTwitter and read our blog.