24 September 2007

Electricity usage

How are you all going with your electricity and water meter readings? I hope you have mastered the meters and are now doing weekly readings. It really will help you cut your usage back if you know what you're using a lot of electricity and water on. We've completely moved over to compact fluro globes in the entire house now, even the down lights and it's made a different in our bill. We bought four globes every month, or more if they were on special, so it didn't hit our small grocery budget too much while we were buying them. If you do this, replace the globes you use the most first.

One of the readers here, Wildside, has reduced her electricity bill a lot and I asked her to share her secrets. Here they are:
  • candlelight, kind of romantic, it hides the dust bunnies when you have company and forgives wrinkles -- everything/everyone looks better by candlelight!
  • strategically placed nightlights to light the way at night.
  • don't turn on an overhead light or lamp unless you have to -- and if you do, make it a nightlight or energy efficient bulb.
  • make good use of natural daylight.
  • think/talk in the dark -- it can be fun!
  • cook on a grill over coal fire outside year-round and think of it as fun -- and how much better food cooked this way tastes!
  • energy efficient fridge.
  • a smaller freezer.
  • consider manual appliances/power over electric -- or make use without some other way!
  • stretch your garden as far as possible and appreciate raw, simple food.
  • wash dishes by hand.
  • only run full loads of laundry and try to limit that to one per day maximum! (My rule: you can do far less than that, but not more!)
  • only run the dryer for 20 minutes then hang everything to finish drying (we live in a damp, rainy climate where stuff gets mildewy and there is a laundry law about hanging clothes outside in view anyway) ... 20 minutes is enough to give things a head start on drying and take the wrinkles out.
  • turn stove burner, oven off just before things are set to come out and let food finish on residual heat.
  • a better thing for us to do (or at least ½ of us [meaning me!]) would be to only use our computer and TV during hours of darkness as a rule... I think I'll decide to pick this habit up again -- we do use both the computer and TV a lot!

Thanks Wildside.

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