Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Power Savings Adding Up

For a month now we've been shutting off the Electric Water Heater during the day and turning it on a couple of hours before showers and laundry and shutting it off after.  Sometimes we'll turn it on before going to bed and then off in the morning or get up a bit early to turn it on and have showers an hour or so later.  This has had a measurable impact on our energy use and I think at this point it merits setting up the 40 Amp 220 V timer to control the on/off times for us.   I purchased the switch a long while back and never set it up since I wasn't sure it would have an impact.  It appears that it will.  Take a look at the graph below.

We've established a good downward trend but this isn't all just flipping a breaker with some regularity.  Let's review some of the changes that we've made in the last two years to help us get there.
  • Replaced our Old Windows
  • Added a Wood Stove as secondary heat, became mostly our primary heat source.
  • Replaced all lights with CFLs.
  • Added motion switches in a couple of strategic areas.
  • Stopped using the Clothes-dryer so much when we installed an outdoor clothesline.
  • Not mentioned in a blog but - got rid of energy hungry computer and CRT monitor and replaced with a used Mac-Mini and flat panel monitor
  • Added a wind break / privacy fence on the windy side of the house
I'm not going to go into the dollars and cents here because it will make me cry, but we stretched ourselves financially to the limit to accomplish these things.  Some were for the future knock-on savings.  Some were for the improved energy independence and some were just things we wanted to do anyway.  All in all, it has all been a value add on our home.  Realizing savings from these things will likely take a few years and may not happen at all with the rising and variable cost of electricity, but we'll pray and see.

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