Builder-Installed Electrical Loads in New Homes

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Conference Proceedings

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The “builder-installed” electrical products are the appliances and components installed by the builder
during construction and prior to occupancy. Some of these components are required by safety codes,
such as smoke detectors, others are needed to support the communications infrastructure, and still
others provide features that future occupants will find useful, such as remotely controlled garage door
openers. We compiled a list of over 50 builder-installed devices that are likely to have continuous
power consumption, and measurements of power consumption for a smaller group. Individual
components consume very little power but a typical North American home can easily have 80 W of
continuous power – corresponding to over 650 kWh/year – devoted to these components. The types
of products and power consumption may be different in Europe or Japan. Techniques to reduce this
energy use include: selection of lowest-power solutions when a range of power consumptions are
available, more efficient circuitry and power management, a separate DC circuit to serve DC-powered
appliances, and use of energy-scavenging sensors and controls in place of grid-powered
components. A protocol to define and measure builder-installed loads, along with a recommended
ceiling, might also stimulate savings.


Energy Efficient Domestic Appliances and Lighting

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