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How the Super Bowl reduces home energy usage

By John Kirchner January 30, 2013

Did you know watching the Super Bowl can actually reduce energy usage in your household?

OK, so the correlation may not be as simple as that, but Matthew Ewald of the New York Times cites some fun research from consulting firm Opower that claims the Super Bowl is an energy-saving touchdown. In a study involving 145,000 households, the firm found energy usage decreased as much as 7.7 percent (depending on location) compared to other Sundays in winter.

You might ask how that’s possible considering most football fans like to perch themselves in front of a big-screen television, ideally with a surround-sound system rumbling and all manner of kitchen appliances deployed.

But here’s another fact about football fans: they generally like to gather with friends and family for the big game. (Inhabitat’s Morgana Matus cleverly calls it, “TV-pooling.”) Not to mention, when the Super Bowl is on the television, all of those other energy-consuming chores like running like washer and drier or using the dishwasher are made to wait.

Matus writes,

“Opower measured 91,355 households in the West and 54,574 in the East. The lower usage rates were at halftime, where the average drop was around five percent. The total decrease of US home electricity was greater than 3 times the amount of energy consumed by all of the TVs watching the Super Bowl.”

So, if you’re looking for an excuse to host or attend a Super Bowl party this year, think of it this way — it’s good for the environment!