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Archive for July, 2010

The results of my energy savings are in...

July 25th, 2010 at 09:16 pm

... and I think its pretty good. I received my electric bill for mid June to mid July on Saturday. the usage was almost exactly what I used this time last year, but this year was supposedly one of the hottest ever here in the DC area. We've been suffering with high 90's for what seems like forever around here.

Anyway, the bill came in at under $47 for the month. Not bad for a 4 bedroom house. Now if only the temps would give us a break I would be really happy.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

My little experiment to save even more $$ worked

July 18th, 2010 at 09:31 pm

When you have cut down everything you can think of, its hard to find a new way to save money. This past month I did find a new way, though this method may not work for many people, it worked for me.

It started with a trip out of town to visit relatives. I would be gone for 5 days, and after my neighbor's latest house fire (read my previous post for details on that), I decided it would be best to turn off the natural gas feed to my stove. This stove has pilot lights for the stove top, as well as for the oven. One time I did come back from a trip to find one pilot light was out, so its not like it couldn't happen and cause a problem.

Turning off the gas to the stove was easy to do. I just pulled the stove out about 6 inches, reached over the top and turned a lever to close the line. When I returned I decided I didn't need the stove on for another 4 days, so I left it off. After using it on a weekend (I cook lunches for the week on the weekend) I turned off the gas feed line again.

So for the month I probably had the pilots off for 14 or so days. I got the bill this weekend - the usage, which has been the same every summer month for the past 3 years, was down about 20%. It didn't save me much, I estimate about $3 in gas costs, plus maybe another dollar or two in air conditioning electricity savings (less heat to cool). Still, it was a free $5 savings, with the effort of a minute or two to turn off and on (lighting the pilots takes the most time).

If you use the stove every day, don't use gas, or your stove doesn't use pilot lights, then this won't help you. But it you have a situation like mine, you may want to try it. Its not like it costs you anything to do this.