Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three Percent

There's a commercial that has been on TV recently which talks about cutting down on our electrical usage by 3% a year for the next 10 years. A good way to cut down on carbon emissions, consumption and our electrical bills. What a great idea! Three percent isn't all that much and who doesn't love a challenge?

Our average electrical bill is about $80/month. To save 3% would be about $2.50 each month. Not so much, but over the course of a year and increased by 3% each following year, it would make a difference. A few years ago we switched out all our light bulbs (much to Joe's dismay!) to CFLs, even the outdoor ones. Sure, they take a bit of time to reach max brightness, needing a few minutes to warm up, but the decrease in our electrical bill was noticeable. We keep our automatic thermostat at 63 during the day and 58 at night. We don't heat the upstairs. We've switched out (again, to Joe's dismay) our shower heads to low-flow ones. Some things are a bigger sacrifice than others, no doubt about it.

So other than turning off lights when we leave the room, walking to shops when possible, using rain barrels for watering the gardens and replacing our old appliances with energy star approved models as they wear out, I'm wondering what else we can do to save electricity and resources? Suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

2 comments:

environmental fiend said...

Kim,

Congratulations on what you are already doing!

I would say the next step would be to check the insulation in your attic (also sometimes possible to do underneath your house.)

I know you just got new windows so you probably aren't losing much energy there. Having energy efficient curtains is a good idea and putting plastic on the windows in an area you don't use is also smart.

Good luck!

Clamshellmuni said...

Recycle needles. i give mine to the Jewish elders on the corner who use them to squirt the junkies stumbling by in the morning. Oh how they enjoy that bracing jolt!