Who’s greener – suburban or urban households? (Hint: It’s not what you think)

Written By: Thatcher Michelsen January 9, 2012 0
Urban homes are much more energy efficient than the average suburban household.
Urban homes are much more energy efficient than the average suburban household.

A study by Jonathon Rose Companies found that, believe it or not, suburban households in the U.S. consume almost twice as much energy than the average American urban household.

The study considered factors such as running lights and computers (household uses) and commuting to work (transportation uses). According to the data, the average 2,000 square foot suburban home consumes 240 million BTU (British thermal units) each year, while the average urban home consumes 143 MBTU annually.

The large discrepancy is solely thanks to the shorter and greener commute of those who live in the city. While both average suburban homes and average urban homes consume 115 MBTU of energy in their physical residence in a year, suburbans consume an extra of 97 MBTU in transportation on average. Even those suburban households that try to keep their homes environmentally friendly scored 21 MBTU higher than an average urban home.

The most efficient type of home, according to the data, is urban multifamily housing that combines resources while being environmentally conscious at just 62 MBTU per year.

Those looking for a home in suburbia should opt for a condo or apartment if possible, and do their best to live close to work or school to make their commute shorter, and therefore, more eco-friendly.

If you currently live in a suburban household and don't plan on going anywhere, here are some ways to cut back on your energy consumption:
♦ Buy a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower the temperature when you aren't home or are sleeping.
♦ Carpool to school/work. Less cars on the road equals less energy consumed.
♦ Replace old windows with better and more efficient models that keep heat in your home.
♦ Stop drafts from seeping in under your doors. There are lots of different products that you can slip beneath your doors that prevent cool air from sneaking in.
♦ Turn off electronics when you aren't using them.
♦ Upgrade your old appliances to ones that are Energy Star qualified.

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