Ford: Drive Our Cars, Buy Green Appliances--And Kiss Texas, California, and New York Goodbye

Ford's MyEnergi Lifestyle guide

Ford's MyEnergi Lifestyle guide

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The average household in America consumes more than 11,000 kWh of electricity per year, much of it during certain peak daytime hours.

Many utility companies benefit from this by applying the law of supply and demand; as demand goes up, so do prices. Off-peak (late at night, for example), electricity is cheaper, but few take advantage of this.

Now, automaker Ford wants to save consumers money by highlighting something it calls the “MyEnergi Lifestyle,” which blends a plug-in hybrid vehicle with household appliance upgrades and smart energy use.

Drive a Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid; switch to modern energy-efficient connected appliances; install solar panels and employ a Nest Learning Thermostat, and you can save significant money annually.

How much? According to research from Georgia Tech, the average home could save 60-percent on their electric bill, while reducing its CO₂ footprint by as much as 50-percent.

If every home in America implemented these changes, it would be the same thing as taking all households in Texas, California and New York off the power grid. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s the equivalent of “eliminating” 32 million homes.

What Ford glosses over in its enviro-zeal is the cost of implementing these changes. Most of us would love to upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances, install solar panels and park a new, more fuel-efficient car in our garage, if only we had that kind of disposable income.

Consider this infographic food for thought, then, or perhaps a gentle prod to see if your utility offers off-peak rates that could reduce your costs. You could even view it as a blueprint for when those Powerball numbers do come up in your favor.


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Comments (12)
  1. "If every home in America implemented these changes, it would be the same thing as taking all households in Texas, California and New York off the power grid. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s the equivalent of “eliminating” 32 million homes."

    So, does that "every home in America" include those 32 million homes? :)

    Anyway, the biggest part of that "saving" is from solar panel installation. That is the majority of the saving or cost as well.

    Some northern states aren't going to get the same savings as the southern sates.

    But I do agree that solar on every roof is the best way to go. It is just that the initial cost of the solar is about 1/3-1/2 of the C-Max Energi sticker.

  2. Xiaolong, the cost to upgrade all appliances alone is beyond most household budgets (mine included), and that's a fraction of the cost of installing solar panels.

    It costs a lot of money, apparently, to save money.

  3. Completely wrong. Sticking with your old energy inefficient appliance is what you can't afford.

    I thought I couldn't afford a new refrigerator, but after looking at the energy savings, I found that payback was only 6 year based on energy efficiency alone.

    Personally, I am saving $1500 per year in electricity with an investment of $3500 in new appliances. You can't afford to NOT be energy efficient.

    Solar is the one that is expensive. However, here in Massachusetts can be had for "free" with a no money down lease.

  4. John, in the long term, you're correct - but my current appliances bleed me to death slowly. An investment of $3,500 these days is as likely as an investment of $35,000.

  5. I agree.

    But you don't have to replace all appliance at once.

    Fridge, Dishwasher will probably provide the biggest saving quickly.

    Light bulbs and TVs will be the next depending on your usage.

  6. Lighting first, then fridge, washing machine and dishwasher. Age of appliances may impact the order, but lighting is always first and each 60w bulb switched out (if used 3 hours a day) will save you about $6-$8 a year in energy costs. Also immediately install low flow watersense shower heads, these pay back in less than 2 years.

  7. Also the "off peak" charging discount doesn't work if your local utility offer the off peak rate discount but charge you higher rate for "higher tier" usage in the entire household electricity usage.

  8. I initially thought I would sign up for Georgia Power's off-peak program when I got my LEAF, but when I saw the peak penalty I decided to stick with the standard rate plan.

  9. I ran off-peak for a year to 'test it out'. Whilst we did save about $100 per month, it was hard - only using the electric dryer after 9pm, feeling guilty about toping up the cars during the day, taking cool showers at 7pm because the heater doesn't kick in until 9pm, etc.

    It seems that you need to move about 80% of your load into the evening/weekend hours to make it work.

  10. Isn't that where the solar panels come in? Someone with enough equity to get a home loan can do better than the leases offered, and spend less on the loan each month than their current electricity bills - starting this month! Off setting increased peak hour fees during the day and saving even more. Perhaps not feeling guilty since the solar is offsetting their power needs during the day.

    I agree that basic energy saving, like lighting, and including an energy audit or similar review, should come first.

  11. I totally agree.

    I studied and "stimulated" PG&E E-9A plan. It just doesn't work for most people. There is NO way that average household doesn't use some kind of power during "peak" hours. That is why they are peak usage period. Shifting EV chargin to offpeak is fine. But shifting "average" household usage to off peak is NOT possible. The penalty for it is just too much.

    The only way to get around it is by installing second meter for EV charging only and/or installing solar to reduce the peak and higher tier charges...

  12. Most solar companies now offer free no money down leases. That lease is less than your current utility bill. 5-10% less. Search ebay for Solar panel install promos etc. If I owned a home I would get solar, create my own energy and charge my new electric car. Perfect.

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