OK, so today is just the start of a challenge that will take a while to address, I’m afraid.
We have a bit of a mystery on our hands: somehow, we are burning about twice as much electricity up here in the mountains than we were down in Georgia–and that’s without air conditioning.
Now granted, we have an electric water heater instead of gas, and our stove top is electric as well. But this house, as I’ve noted before, is quite a bit smaller, and with no AC running, I did not expect to see that we were averaging 77 KWh per day!
So I found an online tool–MyUsage.com–to help me figure out what is going on, and what I might be able to do to reduce our consumption and conserve on electricity. Sure, paying attention to the lights left on is one thing, but there are probably some bigger energy-hog items we will need to address. The old, electric clothes dryer, for example. While I am not a fan of unnecessary purchases, would it be doing the right thing to trade in an appliance probably well into its third decade for something more energy efficient?
Then there’s the water heater. Better insulation would help us conserve energy (both electric and thermal), but I could probably have a look at the temperature settings and scale it back a few degrees.
Sure, there’s a money motivation to all of this, but I think the bigger piece for me today was coming to terms with that gap between what I think I am doing (living somewhat more simply) and what my utilities tell me is the case (burning all those kilowatt-hours).
So, time to look at our (energy) consumption, and time to figure out how to cut back and conserve.