Monday, November 19, 2007

Our energy-savings plan

This is a follow up to my earlier post about my family's goal to conserve energy around the house – and my challenge to you to do the same.

We've had a chance to review how much energy our various appliances use, and we've built a game-plan we think will help us reach our 10% usage-reduction goal AND our goal of shifting more of our usage from Peak to Off-peak hours. We've decided to focus our attention on the items that have the largest impact and/or the items that are easiest for us to address. (we're going to start by picking the low-hanging fruit.)

Here are the 10 items we're going to change first:

  1. Change our APS service plan to the Combined Advantage 7pm to Noon. Off-Peak prices are a fraction higher than our current plan, but the Peak period is reduced to Noon to 7pm, Monday – Friday. That's it. 7 hours a day, 5 days a week is all we have to worry about. This should enable us to reduce our peak usage for the items we can control, as well as our 'demand' charges.

  2. No Dishwasher, Washer, Dryer, or Showers (hot water heater) between Noon and 7pm weekdays. These are the four main items we have the most direct control over.

  3. Replace light bulbs with CF bulbs. I'll start with the 5-10 lights that are on the most often. Then, I'll use the monthly savings we begin to generate to buy a few more bulbs here & there. Eventually we'll have all of the high-use lights on CF bulbs.

  4. Monitor A/C usage, especially in the hot summer months, and especially between Noon and 7pm. We can't turn it up to 82 or 84 (not practical), but we can try to be more cognizant of how cool the house is.

  5. Portable A/C unit should not be on unless someone is in that room.

  6. All computers, monitors, and printers should be turned off at night.

  7. Monitor for open doors and open refrigerator. (yes, we have kids!)

  8. Keep extra fridge and freezer full, even if it means using containers of water/ice. (We have a dorm-size fridge that we use to keep soda & bottled water cold, and we have a freezer for long-term food storage.)

  9. Look into window coverings for the small/extra windows that let in some afternoon sun. (This will become a larger factor in the spring & summer.)

  10. Turn off bedroom ceiling fans during the day.

The first 2 deal with shifting our load from Peak to Off-peak. The last 7 deal directly with saving energy. Number 3 will save some energy, but will cost me a $30 investment. I think these 10 items should enable us to reach our goals. If not, we'll have to keep looking for additional savings...

Your looking forward to the challenge Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] energy consumption, green living, APS, Fletcher Heights [/tags]