So I am continuing my quest to reduce my energy bill and I thought I would give an update on my accomplishments.
We have been using the energy meter to ‘learn’ about our appliances. As I obsessively try to reduce the cost on the display I have learned that things like turning off light switches have virtually no effect on my energy expenditure. That being said, I still make a point of turning them off and hope to replace them with LED bulbs over time. The heavy hitters are the appliances. When we re-did our kitchen we replaced the fridge and dishwasher with energy-efficient appliances so they are doing really well. The big usage jumps are the washer/dryer and the stove. We are not in a place to replace those appliances yet so minus line drying in the summer (still snow on the ground currently) and avoiding peak hours, we are stuck.
The good news is that the recent electricity bill came in and it looks like our efforts to stick to using appliances in non-peak hours is paying off. Though our total energy usage is about the same, this month we saw a noticeable increase in non-peak usage and a corresponding decrease in on-peak usage. See my sexy graph below.
I also discovered that our distributor has an online program that lets you see your day-to-day energy usage. From examining this information I believe I discovered a new
strategy. It seems that we have a perpetual, low level, energy usage irregardless of the time of day (note the same size red and yellow bars across every day). Being home during the day I know that nothing in our house is being turned on so this energy represents items that are just on constantly. This includes the furnace, fridges, and electronics (since neither of us is very good at turning off computers). New goal: reduce baseline energy usage.
To tackle this I did the following this past weekend:
- Consolidate fridges/freezers. We have our new kitchen fridge, a
deep freezer in the garage and a beer fridge in the basement. The deep freezer is great in the summer for storing stocks of fresh fruits/veggies but by this time of year it is mostly depleted. I moved what was left into the smaller kitchen freezer and it will be unplugged. Since we don’t drink ‘that much’ we moved the beer into the upstairs fridge and unplugged the beer fridge.
- Install Energy Saving Power Bars. My computer was already set up on an
energy saving ‘smart’ power bar so I decided to get a similar one for the hubby’s computer. Hopefully this can reduce the phantom energy from our electronics.
Fingers crossed we see a difference on our next energy bill!