Since we use oil heat (actually BioHeat, a mix of biodiesel and regular heating oil) to heat our house, this doesn't totally pertain to the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, at least for us, but I just had to share.
I got my electric bill today. I haven't exactly been paying too close attention lately, but this one really got my attention. Ever since Low Impact Week back in June, I've been instituting some energy saving changes around here. Although I must admit I haven't been line drying our clothes since Sir Crunch-A-Lot got sick. Since clothes drying is fairly energy intensive I am even more amazed at how much we cut back.
For the same period last year, we used 2024 kWh. This year? Drum roll please.... 931 kWh. Now I know that if I had been not using the dryer it would have been even lower. This works out to an average of $.78 per day.
Unfortunately, I can't really calculate out how much heating oil we're using this winter until maybe the spring since our readings are irregular (based on temperatures). So, I won't know what kind of savings we'll have for a while. But since we are lowering our daytime house temperature by about 7 degrees and our nighttime temperatures by about 8 degrees, it has to be a somewhat significant to the amount of oil we used.
What have we changed to reduce our electricity usage?
1. Well, for one, I'm more attentive to the lights in the house. We used to light the house up like crazy, but now if I know no one will be in a room, I make sure to go around and turn off all those lights. It's hard with little kids and their fixation with light switches, but it's a start.
2. Next off, our hot water heater usage has gone down since we started bathing the kids less. A lot less. We used to bathe both of them every day, but since I'm the only one at it these days, they get baths twice a week each. And, it really doesn't seem to matter much.
3. Our washing machine is being used less since I'm wearing bulky clothing items more than once (like jeans and sweaters). And since my husband is home-bound his clothing needs are minimal at best.
4. We no longer use the Heat Dry option on our dishwasher. We always run it on Air Dry now. We do one load a day and it's always full.
5. Finally, I suspect that since our oil heater runs on electricity and it's running a whole lot less, it's probably sucking down less energy.
The only thing offsetting all of this is our new chest freezer that is hosting a myriad of frozen fruits, vegetables, sauces, breads and pizza doughs that I made in the last few months. But, having these around saves us additional money and time too!
I just can't believe our electric bill is less than $25 a month! We'll see how we do next time around.