Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saving Electricity

A few months back a fellow blogger over at sparing-change did a blog about reducing their carbon footprint. It was then that I took a nice long look at my electric bill as far back as I could go, which was May 2009, and I was shocked and appalled at what I found. 

Needless to say, just that simple post made my  mind race trying to figure out inexpensive ways that I could cut back without stretching my already stretched budget. Here are the results of what I found:                2009 - Avg 48.277 (245 days 18828 kwh)
                          2010 - Avg 49.368 (364 days 17970 kwh)
I could not believe we were using that many kwh a day.Everything in our house is electric and we ranged from 6-3 people living here depending on the year. Since September 2010 there have been 4 people living here.

I unplugged the dryer in May and had a clothes lines installed outside that can accommodate 4 good size loads of laundry. I had purchased this item almost 4 years ago and it sat in our shed. I also starting using an accordion drying rack I had purchased about the same time. Since then I added another drying rack that I received from a fellow freecycler. These racks allow me to dry clothes indoor on rainy days. I also only use cool water for washing so we are not paying to heat the water.

In June I turned off the desktop computer which was barely ever used but stayed on. I made a conscious effort to keep my laptop and phone charger unplugged unless being used as these were always plugged in. I also unplugged lights and other small items that were never used.  We took 2 of the 4 bulbs out of the overheard light in our living room and I unplugged my Keurig only plugging it in the mornings for our coffee. In our bedroom the TV, DVR and DVD player are plugged into an outlet that works with a wall switch so instead of leaving that on all day we hit that switch when we leave and turn it on at night when we are ready to settle down. 

During the winter we had the heat set at 68 while we were home and had it drop to 64 while everyone was gone. For the we waited until it got over 80 in here to turn the air condition on and we only have set on 78. We do use fans in the bedrooms and if it gets too warm upstairs the kids sleep in the livingroom which is in the basement where it's cooler. On days where the temperatures have been in low to mid 80's during day and low 70 at night we turned it off and opened the windows. This has allowed us a few weeks during the summer without running the air.

Check with your electric company and see if they have any promotions or ways to save money and electricity. I let BGE install a switch on our heat pump and told them they could cycle it at 100% when needed and install a switch on the hot water heater that they can cycle also. Not only has this helped us save some kwh and money because of that but I get a credit of $50 on my bill for June, July, August and September for the heat pump and then $25 each of those months next year and the following years that I have it and then $25.00 a month for Oct, Nov,Dec and Jan for the hot water heater and then next year for those months it will be $12.50. Hey every little bit helps.

Now to see the difference!    2011 - Avg 38.89 (182 days 7078 kwh). So far that is a saving of 10.478 kwh a day over last year. I hope this is just the beginning and that I can find other small ways to cut back our carbon footprint without spending too much money. 

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