Monday, September 1, 2014

Curbing Electricity Use II

Back in July I posted on my Family's Monthly Electricity Use.  At that time I was concerned about the amount of energy we were using each month to power our home.  As the image in that post showed, we were using more energy than typical homes our size and had been for many months.  We put in some energy cutting measures in place and I'm proud to say that the first bill since was dramatically lower.  About 40% lower to be exact.  It was our lowest electricity bill in years!!!

I have to be careful in getting too excited because this because it is just one data point.  I'll keep tracking our energy use over the next few months and if a trend of lower use develops, then I'll be satisfied.  I also have to point out that during the past month we were out of the house for 10 days on vacation.  That, in itself, will lead to lower energy use.  However, we've been our on vacation before and not seen the same drop in energy use.  Right now I'm cautious, but we continue to discuss as a family was to conserve energy, both for the environment and our pocket books.  Here are some things we've put in place.

1.  Keeping lights off when not in use.

2.  Keeping windows and doors closed when A/C or heat is on.

3.  Not leaving the fridge door open.

4.  Buying energy efficient appliances (replacing appliances when old ones go kaput).  Recently did this with our fridge when the old one decided that keeping food cool was no longer in its job description.  :-)

5.  Running dish-washer on ECO mode.  Our old dishwasher never cleaned the dishes on ECO mode so we never used it.  The new one works great on ECO mode.

6.  Washing clothes on a shorter cycle when applicable.

7.  Turning A/C or heat up/down when not in house for several hours.  Now that we're all finished with summer break and not home during the day, we've implemented this.  Thus it has not been reflected in most recent electric bill.

8.  Working to limit the length of showers, both for water usage and the cost/energy needed to heat water.

9.  Unplugging small appliances when not in use (i.e. phone chargers, treadmill, etc.).  Did this for a radio clock we never used, but had been blinking 12:00 for months!  Tried this with the TVs but for one of them, it screwed up the software too often.

Curbing electricity use is a great way to directly involve your kids in energy conservation.  There are many things they can do on their own, such as turning off lights, that they can play an active role in this.

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